Families seeking out last days of summer fun may find spending time in the great outdoors especially compelling right now. That’s because this year, amid the pandemic, the usual back-to-school angst is mixed with uncertainty as schools set to reopen.
Now, local treasures such as Christopher Morley Park and Michael J. Tully Park are ideal spots for family activities and a chance to soak up some Vitamin D.
Still, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care urges Long Islanders to continue practicing caution while enjoying outdoor family activities, especially as public spaces, including pools, reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The virus is still present, and because there is no vaccine yet, we cannot let our guard down when it comes to protecting against COVID-19,” said Dr. Lynda Gerberg, Cohen Children’s Northwell Health-GoHealth Pediatric Urgent Care’s lead pediatrician.
And while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through chlorine-treated water in pools, hot tubs, or sprinkler parks, parents should still take steps to protect their families. Social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing are the best tools to prevent against the virus, even while enjoying the great outdoors. These measures protect not only against COVID-19, but other viruses common to warm weather.
Still, with COVID top of mind, parents may grow extra concerned if children develop flu-like symptoms, a cough or rash. Among the viruses that peak in summer, Dr. Gerberg said she is seeing coxsackie virus, whose symptoms can include a fever and a blistering rash. Also known as Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, this virus spreads around public pools, water playgrounds and other wet surfaces.
So, while families safely plan summer outings to the pool and sprinkler park, they should know that the coronavirus, coxsackie and other viruses are all transmitted the same way, Dr. Gerberg said.
“The same precautions apply: Mask-wearing, hand washing, not sharing toys without cleaning them first, Dr. Gerberg said.
“It’s important to see a doctor for the correct diagnosis,” Dr. Gerberg said. “When children show symptoms, have them checked by their pediatrician, or bring them to a Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care Center.”
All Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers provide services to children who are six months and older. And with virtual visits, families can connect with a Cohen Children’s Northwell Health-GoHealth Pediatric Urgent Care pediatric provider from the comfort of their homes. Most Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care locations are open extended hours from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends and are open all holidays – 365 days a year. For more information about testing, locations and pricing, visit Gohealthuc.com/nyc.