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It's still OK to play outside

27 Mar, 2020

For Wodonga residents the news about isolating can appear to be a little intimidating.

So even though playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and barbecues are closed, it's still ok to play outside.

Play Australia is encouraging all residents to get outdoors when they can.

"When we go outdoors, we are more physically active, reduce our screen time, sleep better and our immune system becomes more robust and increases our defence against COVID-19," Play Australia said.

However, the organisation reminded people to take the practice of physical distancing seriously and to not take children to outdoor playgrounds at this time.

Play Australia said that for children’s health and wellbeing, it is well known and researched, it is crucial for them to get outside for the physical and mental health benefits, building resilience and independence.

In these stressful and anxiety heightened times, now more than ever, kids need to play outside to let off steam and to gain much-needed sunshine for their immune system.

Kieran Brophy, Assistant Director at Play Australia, will be ensuring his family avoids communal play equipment at his local park.

“As a parent of a 9 month old, 2 year old and 4 year old, I’m trying to act in the best interests of my children and keep them safe during these uncertain times. I also want to keep our broader family and community safe, including Grandad, Pa, our elderly neighbours and our more vulnerable community members who are at greater risk” he said.

“Whilst the kids love their local playgrounds, we are now making time to play outside every day in the backyard, in our public open spaces and nature reserves – whilst supporting our new physical distancing protocols.”

In addition, Kieran’s family is initiating a much stricter hygiene regime, by using hand sanitiser and hand washing more regularly after play and before food.

“It gets tricky when the younger two continue to put fingers in their mouths every five minutes, but we’re doing our best! I believe it’s important for us all to remember kids are kids, they don’t always listen and can test the patience of the most experienced parent amongst us – let’s do our best, give them plenty of hugs and let them play every day, as it’s now more important than ever.

“We must remember that our playgrounds will be there in future and we will be back, let’s hope this is the case for all of our community members as well."

The key to all precautions and closures taken now is to protect everyone in the community.

For a list of walking tracks and cycling paths, visit https://wod.city/WalkingCycling