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Play Australia advises that while playgrounds close outdoor play is fine
National play advocacy group Play Australia has announced today that "while playgrounds are to be closed, it’s still ok to play outside".
With Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing last night that in moves to halt the spread of Coronavirus indoor and outdoor play centres are to join the list of services through the country that are to be closed, Play Australia is emphasising that “when we go outdoors, we are more physically active, reduce our screen time, sleep better and our immune system becomes more robust and increase our defence again COVID-19”.
Play Australia state “what is clear is that our communities need to be advised to take most seriously the practice of physical distancing, and to not take children to outdoor (or indoor) playgrounds at this time.
“But this does not mean that children can’t go outside to play!
“Play Australia says 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, is the father of three children under four and will be supporting the Prime Minister’s directive and ensuring that his family avoids communal play equipment at his local park.
He advises “as a parent of a nine month old, two year old and four 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” explains Kieran.
“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.”
He admits “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.
“When I put my Play Australia hat back on, 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."
Play Australia go on to say that the key to all precautions and closures taken now is to protect everyone in the community.
It concludes “information and advice is constantly changing and evolving as the worldwide pandemic plays out. Play Australia will provide further public statements and recommendations as information becomes available.”
Previously known as the Playground and Recreation Association of Victoria (PRAV), Play Australia is a non-profit, membership based organisation.
8th March 2020 - Sunshine Coast to celebrate Parks Week with tree planting events
28th February 2020 - ACT Government opens applications for the 2020 Nature Play Grants program
15th February 2020 - The City of Ballarat partners with community bank to create new play space
24th January 2020 - Penrith Council seeks community input for Regatta Park playground design
13th January 2020 - Logan City Council delivers innovative $3.2 million aquatic playground
11th December 2019 - Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary introduces new water playground
2nd December 2019 - Warragamba All Abilities Playground opens
21st November 2019 - Urban Play partners with Waterplay to offer solutions for aquatic fun
14th December 2018 - Darwin’s Waterfront Park wins at Kidsafe National Playsafe Design Awards
19th October 2017 - Nature Play WA launches innovative outdoor play app
25th October 2016 - Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards recognise safe and creative playspaces
14th October 2016 - Outdoor play essential to healthy childhood development
7th July 2016 - Kidsafe Queensland highlights safety risks at trampoline arenas
30th December 2015 - Passport to an Amazing Childhood program encourages outdoor play
15th November 2015 - Risky outdoor play positively impacts children’s health
22nd October 2014 - Melbourne Zoo Growing Wild area wins Kidsafe design award
22nd July 2014 - Play Australia to expand in South Australia
6th September 2011 - PRAV evolves into Play Australia
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