Dra. Ailene Buelva-Martin, a COVID-19 survivor and mom of two, shares why she’s totally for kids being outdoors, provided families follow the following protocols…
Getting our kids outdoors has been especially tricky during COVID-19. With the GCQ rules constantly changing, giving them the fresh air and sunlight that they need has proven to be quite the task. And now that the delta variant’s made its way to the Philippines, it feels inevitable that the rules might change again.
Nobody commiserates more than Dra Aileen Buelva-Martin, a mom of two to an almost 5 year-old and 2 year-old and a nephrologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center. Not only is she a doctor who treats COVID-19 patients, she’s also survived COVID-19 herself. And yes, she totally supports kids being outdoors — as long as they follow the APAT Dapat protocols from the HPAAC (Healthcare Professional Alliance Against COVID-19). In her Facebook post, she enlists the rules parents should follow when taking their kids outdoors.
What parents need to know about taking their kids outdoors during COVID-19:
1. Keep it private
Taking kids to a private place (such as an Airbnb) is the best option and interaction should be kept within your household ONLY. Guidelines on the gathering of vaccinated individuals have not yet been implemented.
2. Follow APAT Dapat if you’re going out to a public place
A – Air Circulation
Choose to dine alfresco/outdoors. Dining inside a closed, confined space especially with air-conditioning will allow droplets from other people to reach you. This is because people take masks off when they’re eating — and yes, this applies, even if you’re 1 meter apart. Droplets can stay inside a confined space for hours. If there are no available alfresco areas, opt to eat inside your car instead.
P – Physical Distancing
Stay at least 1 meter apart from other people. The farther, the better.
A – Always wear your face mask and face shield/ alcohol rub or handwashing
I spray alcohol every 10 minutes on all our hands when we go out. Always rub alcohol on your children’s hands because they tend to touch multiple surfaces.
T – Time of interaction
Limit interaction with other people to 30 minutes or less. Of course, remember to follow the above!
Why we need to amp up the caution
“The delta variant is here and we should practice utmost caution,” urges Dra Aileen. “Children are asymptomatic carriers, and worse, they can also develop symptoms. Yes, we want them to experience the outdoors but we also want to keep them HEALTHY and SAFE.” She reminds parents to always assess the risks when taking kids outdoors and to remember the necessary precautions. “The minute you see more people where you are, pack up and go home,” she says. She also pleads parents to get vaccinated to save lives.
Yes, there’s a way to stay safe AND let our kids have as normal a childhood as we possibly can. By heeding Dra Aileen’s advice, kids can still enjoy the outdoors like they’re supposed to, but with caution.