Tips for a Safe, Fun Summer During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published on in Health Tip of the Week
Skip to content
Published on in Health Tip of the Week
As COVID-19 vaccination rates rise, many people are beginning to return to normal summer activities. Though there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel, the pandemic is not yet over. The virus that causes COVID-19 continues to mutate, and scientists are working hard to learn more about how easily these variants spread, whether they cause more severe illness and whether currently authorized vaccines protect against them.
While recent data shows that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume some normal activity, many people remain unvaccinated, and a vaccine for children younger than 12 has yet to be authorized for use. It’s therefore critical to keep public safety measures in mind as you make your family’s summer plans.
From beach vacations to public pools to summer camp, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) experts weigh in on your most frequently asked questions and offer science-based advice on how to avoid unnecessary risks while still having much-needed summer fun.
After spending more than a year cooped up at home, most of us are itching for a vacation. But is traveling safe?
According to the CDC’s most recent travel guidance, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to travel within the United States without testing or self-quarantining. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to physically distance or wear a mask outdoors or indoors, except where required by law. Families with unvaccinated family members should continue to follow safety measures in public, including wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds. Here’s the latest guidance to help you choose safer activities.
If you plan to travel with unvaccinated family members, you can reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection by following these tips:
Social connections, whether over the internet or in-person, play an important role in a child’s development, and the isolation and loneliness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a detrimental effect on many children’s mental and behavioral health.
When deciding whether play dates are appropriate for your child, however, it can be helpful to weigh the risks of exposure against the benefits of finally interacting with others. If your family’s risk- and comfort level allows for in-person interactions, these tips can help minimize the risk of infection:
Summer camp is an important experience for many children. This summer, it may be particularly important because children have experienced a profound disruption in their social, developmental and educational experiences. The following guidance can help provide a framework for you to consider as you decide if attending summer camp is right for your child.
In general, camps are less likely to pose a significant risk of infection if they:
Other general practices to consider when planning for summer camp include:
Keep in mind that if your unvaccinated child is at risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, your doctor may recommend they not attend camp or participate in other summer activities. Discuss your child’s health and medical history with your doctor to determine what is and is not appropriate. Ultimately, your family’s summer plans should be based on your child’s health, and your family’s and community’s circumstances.
Contributed by: Katie K. Lockwood, MD, MEd, Susan E. Coffin, MD, MPH
Are you looking for advice to keep your child healthy and happy? Do you have questions about common childhood illnesses and injuries? Subscribe to our Health Tips newsletter to receive health and wellness tips from the pediatric experts at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, straight to your inbox. Read some recent tips.