Practice social distancing

Tips and Resources

Social distancing is crucial to slowing the spread of the virus. Explore below to learn why social distancing is important, how to make sense of guidelines, and how to help kids and teens adjust to doing their part.

Tips

General

  1. Social distancing means keeping space between people outside of your household
  2. Stay at least six feet away from others outside your household
  3. Avoid crowds
  4. Follow restrictions on gatherings in your city
  5. Limit trips inside stores. Try using curbside pickup, delivery, or drive thru options
  6. Respect distance markers and one-way signs in businesses
  7. Stay connected to friends and family with virtual resources
  8. If meeting friends or family, go outside or where distancing is possible and wear a mask
  9. Ask yourself before going out: How many people will be there? Will they be wearing masks? Do I feel safe attending?
  10. Exercise at home or outdoors instead of at your regular gym

For Teens

  1. Model social distancing for your teens
  2. Help teens use technology to stay in touch with friends
  3. Your teens should keep in-person interactions to a minimum with the same few friends
  4. Encourage your teens to hang out outside or where distancing is possible
  5. Explore alternative celebrations to milestone events like school dances and graduation

For Kids

  1. Explain how distancing helps protect loved ones
  2. Use games and visual cues to teach distancing and to teach six feet
  3. Ask your child what they understand about social distancing
  4. Talk with your children about their worries about distancing
  5. Provide gentle redirection to enforce distancing

For Infants and Toddlers

  1. Cuddle your kids! Social distancing guidelines do not apply within your own household
  2. Ask for help. Try to commit any supporting family and friends to keeping to a small bubble of contacts
  3. With other supports limited by distancing measures, lean on your partner more heavily for help
  4. Examine risks and benefits when considering a babysitter or nanny
  5. You should still keep all postpartum appointments and well child visits

Articles

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Activities

Frequently Asked Questions: Social Distancing

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Q.

I’m about to deliver my child, should I worry about family coming over to help me?

A.

With each visitor, it’s important to weigh risks and benefits. Ask about risk: Have they been adhering to social distancing guidelines? Are they willing to wear a mask? Do I trust them to wash their hands before holding my child? Then ask about benefits: Do they provide emotional support? Is it important to you that they meet your child now? Are they providing other help? There is no single answer, and it’s okay to make an educated decision based on what is right for your family.

Q.

My family member was diagnosed with COVID-19. When can I allow them to interact with my child again?

A.

The CDC states that any person infected with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days after testing positive. Once the family member or friend has completed their 14 day quarantine, appropriate social interaction with masks and social distancing in mind is acceptable.

Q.

I have to go to work and have young children, what are my options for safe childcare?

A.

Various daycares throughout your area may be open. Consider calling different facilities to ask about their precautions with COVID-19. Make the decision on where to take your child based on those conversations. Other options include a family member or friend who has limited contact with others becoming a babysitter for you as needed. The babysitter should take proper precautions around your children such as mask wearing and washing hands frequently. Visit our child care section for more resources.

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Q.

My family and friends want to celebrate birthdays and holidays together, what can we do to make this safe?

A.

For the holidays, consider celebrations using technology to connect with loved ones. Many companies such as Zoom, Skype and FaceBook provide free video calling features. This is the safest way to celebrate with loved ones during the pandemic. If gathering in person, outdoor events with all persons above the age of 2 wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart carry far less risk of virus transmission than indoor events where food is served.

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Q.

Is it safe to eat out at a restaurant?

A.

Indoor restaurants pose the same dangers that all enclosed indoor spaces do including prolonged close contact to other people. Additionally, people eating in restaurants will not have masks on. If you must eat out, it is recommended that you dine on a restaurant's patio or take the food to go and eat somewhere away from the restaurant. Eating outdoors decreases some of the risk associated with indoor seating.

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Q.

How can I help my teen follow social distancing guidelines?

A.

It is natural for teens to challenge rules, and for many it’s important to understand why guidelines are in place. Sit down with your teen and ask them what they understand about the pandemic and social distancing. Ask them in a non-judgmental way about their adherence to guidelines. Come up with rules that both you and your teen can agree upon.

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Q.

Can my kids have play dates?

A.

It can be very difficult for children not to interact with their friends or see other children their same age. Playdates carry a high risk for virus transmission if toys are being shared, the children are within 6 feet of each other, and mask wearing is not possible. When planning a playdate, weigh the benefits with the risks. Ask if the family has been following CDC guidelines to limit virus exposure. Consider having your children play outside with their own toys instead of sharing. Always remember to supervise your children as you would before the pandemic.

Q.

Can my teenager hang out with friends?

A.

It can be difficult for teenagers not to see their friends, especially if they are not attending school in person. Using technology to see friends is the safest option during the pandemic. Encourage your teenager to video chat with their friends when appropriate. If they do hang out in person, they should meet outside while wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart.

Q.

My child’s friends all seem to have different family rules regarding social distancing. How do I navigate this?

A.

Make sure you are clear with your children about your family’s rules regarding social distancing. Explain that some families may be more or less strict in adherence to guidelines. Help them respect these differences without judgment and to always adhere to the stricter rules, be it your family’s rules or their friends’.

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