Define “Shelter In Place” for children

Today’s announcement was a significant shift in our approach to preventing disease transmission. We should be thankful that our counties across the Bay Area are protecting our health.

The next group we’ll define is “shelter-in-place” for children:

  • Children in San Mateo county are recommended to have NO contact with other children (no play dates, etc.)
  • Children in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties are may exercise EXTREME CAUTION with other children. To have a play date
    • Children must not show any symptoms and should have temperatures checked before the play date
    • There should be NO HIGH RISK individuals in either family, nor should there be ANY high risk individuals cared for by ANY members of the respective families
    • There should be NO sick individuals in either family (“sick” meaning displaying ANY respiratory symptoms)
    • NO family members should be “super spreaders” (including working in high risk OCCUPATIONS (eg bus operators, medical field, etc.) where they may be harboring virus but yet to show symptoms
    • Limit play dates to the lowest number of children. I would recommend 2 at a time
    • Practice good hand hygiene at ALL times!
    • Discourage touching faces
    • Clean play surfaces thoroughly before and after use
  • Children without any respiratory illness CAN go outside for limited periods of time FOLLOWING STRICT PRECAUTIONS:
    • Always accompany the child to make sure they don’t go anywhere it risk of exposing themselves
    • Wherever you go, go at off-peak hours (try calling ahead)
    • Follow STRICT hand hygiene
    • Don’t let them touch their faces, ever
    • Don’t make unnecessary stops
    • Practice “social distancing” at ALL times (6 feet distance)
    • Do NOT play with any dogs, other children, etc. while outside

Good ideas of places to consider: trails in nature, very quiet neighborhood blocks, beach, quiet/empty parks

Inappropriate places to visit: busy parks, busy dog parks, anywhere you “bump” into people, public places (library), anywhere requiring public transportation, any indoor and poorly ventilated locations

This is clearly difficult, and minimizing the risk of community spread must remain our highest priority. We must try to balance this with the known harms of this disrupted lifestyle, panicked media, etc. on our children. More to come.


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