Playgrounds and Play Structures During COVID-19 – Information for Parents and Caregivers

Many playgrounds and play structures re-opened to users. Playgrounds are important spaces for children to play and have fun. Here are some things you can do to make sure you, your family and your friends stay safe while visiting a playground. 

Stay Home if You or Your Child Feels Sick or Has Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Familiarize yourself with and regularly monitor for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Before you go to the playground, ask your child if they feel sick (you can use the online COVID-19 self-assessment). Do NOT go to the playground if you, your child or any member of your household:
    • feel sick or exhibit at least one COVID-19 symptom or do not pass the self-assessment.  You should self-isolate and should visit a COVID-19 Assessment Centre to be tested.
    • has been directed to self-isolate because they are a high-risk contact of a case.
  • To know when individuals who are sick or who have had any COVID-19 symptoms can return to the playground, see the recommendations according to how long they must self-isolate.

Know Before you Go 

  • Check with your city or region to see if the playground, and its bathrooms or change. rooms (where applicable) are open. 
  • Review any park-specific notices from your city or region.
  • While at the playground, your children must be supervised at all times.
  • Remember that playground equipment may not be cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Bring Some Things with You 

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wipes, water and paper towels. 
  • Your own toys and sports equipment.
  • Do not share toys and sports equipment with other children and families unless they are part of your household.
  • Drinking water and snacks.
  • Hats, sunscreen and clothing for sun protection.

Follow the Playground’s Signs for Physical Distancing; Avoid Large Gatherings 

  • If the playground is busy, come back when there are fewer people or go play in a less crowded area of the playground. Consider limiting your time at the playground to give others a chance to play during busier times.
  • Adults and teenagers should maintain a distance of 2 metres from others at all times. 
    • For children, focus on avoiding direct physical contact with other children and do your best to keep them 2 metres apart from others.
  • Be patient when parking and maintain physical distancing when entering and leaving the park.

Reduce Touching and Sharing Outside of your Household

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. This is the best way to reduce the spread of germs.  Wash hands often, especially:
    • Before and after touching play equipment or shared areas.
    • Before and after eating or drinking; try to eat before or after playing on the playground.
    • Before leaving the playground and as soon as you get home.
  • Try to minimize your child’s direct physical contact with people outside of your household or social circle.
  • Use good respiratory etiquette.  Remind your child to cough and sneeze into a tissue or their elbows.
  • Ask your child to avoid putting their mouth on the play structures and equipment.
  • Encourage your child to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Do not share toys, bikes or food with people outside of your household or social circle.

For additional information, visit www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus

Adapted with permission from the BC Centre for Disease Control

Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario