Past Studies

December 2020: Using Public Playgrounds During COVID-19 Pandemic Among Non-School-Aged Children

What was this study about?

Although going to a public playground has been considered low risk for exposure to COVID-19, a higher frequency of contact with high-touch surfaces (e.g., playground equipment) is presumed to be associated with a higher risk of COVID infection. Given that the playground equipment is not currently being cleaned and sanitized regularly, there is a need for local epidemiology studies to assess the potential risk. In this study, we developed a 19-item survey to assess the risk of COVID transmission from public playgrounds, and obtain parents' perspective of the current COVID guidance for using public playground. The results of this study will help policymakers to assess whether more stringent public health measures in the province are needed regarding using the playgrounds.

Study Results Overview

A total of 162 anonymous responses were included in this study. Overall, the dimensions evaluated have demonstrated remarkable levels of compliance with the current public health measures among parents (Average score 68% compliance). However, most respondents believed a more stringent health measure is needed to improve public playground safety during this pandemic, such as regular cleaning and sanitizing the equipment, capacity restrictions, sanitizer available at playgrounds, etc. While the majority of respondents were aware of the possibility of COVID-19 transmission through public playgrounds, there were some indications of inappropriate use of playgrounds; a few parents used playgrounds even after the child was diagnosed with Covid-19 infection or identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 by a healthcare provider.

Survey Results: