As this school year closes, many kids are looking forward to fun, carefree summer holidays. Whether your child will spend these next weeks in camps, with family, with neighborhood friends, or traveling, you may have questions about how best to manage summer break while keeping your child safe from COVID.
If your child is at least 12 years old, they can be vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine. Once fully vaccinated, your child can enjoy normal summer activities and you'll know they're at very little risk of catching or spreading the virus.
But if your child is younger than 12 or is not vaccinated, they are at risk of exposure and precautions are still needed.
Unvaccinated children older than age 2 should wear masks in public settings, particularly where social distancing is not possible. Masks help protect your child and those around your child from exposure.
Consider choosing summer activities with lower risk. These activities include exploring the outdoors, taking a road trip with members of your household, or visiting vaccinated friends or family from another household. If your child loves sports, encourage lower-risk activities like outdoor skills-building, conditioning, tennis, soccer drills, passing and catching a football, or swimming.
If your child is interested in summer camps, find out what COVID-19 precautions are in place. Some camps may require negative COVID-19 tests prior to the first day of camp. Some require masks and/or have limited capacity to keep the groups small. Don't hesitate to ask questions about how they're working to protect your child.
You may want to monitor infection rates in your community when deciding how much to allow your child to venture out. Being in crowds and poorly ventilated spaces puts unvaccinated people, including children, at higher risk for COVID-19.
Of course, no activity is totally free of risk, whether from COVID or any other concern. Every parent must weigh the risks of exposure against the benefits of finally interacting with others, and make choices that feel best for their family.