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Oregon Family Magazine

Playing safe this summer

07/01/2021 ● By Sandy Kauten
Summertime brings a much-needed break from a challenging school year and more time to enjoy the season with our kids! The risk of COVID-19 is decreasing in Oregon as more adults are being vaccinated; however, young children still are not approved to receive the coronavirus vaccine and COVID is now ranked in the top 10 causes of death in American children. With that in mind, I encourage families to follow these summer safety tips:
  • Keep unvaccinated kids from different households socially distanced and masked when they are playing together inside and encourage outside play as much as possible.
  • Unvaccinated children playing at the pool, park or beach should stay at least 6 feet away from people they don’t live with. When not in the water, those children 2 years and older should wear masks.
  • Avoid poorly ventilated or crowded areas if you have unvaccinated kids.
  • Rethink air travel with unvaccinated children unless it’s an urgent trip.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Keep kids home when they are sick.
  • Get your unvaccinated child tested if they become sick with symptoms of COVID-19, or if they are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

In addition to taking precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus among children, providers at Eugene Pediatric Associates remind families to keep basic summer safety in mind:

  • Make sure an adult is within arm’s reach of a young child that is in or near a swimming pool or around any body of water.
  • Keep backyard pools empty or gated when not in use. 
  • Outfit kids with a properly-fitted life jacket if they are in a boat (floaties are not adequate protection). 
  • Make helmets a priority for children (and adults) when bike riding or skateboarding. 
  • Be sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when outdoors, and be sure to reapply often if kids are swimming. 

If you have questions about summertime safety and COVID-19, check the Centers for Disease Control’s website, or visit us at