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Should we enforce social distancing with primary aged children

(34 Posts)
trumpisaflump Wed 17-Jun-20 07:27:52

What do you do with your primary aged children? We've had a friends to play in our garden (one at a time, we're in Scotland) with our DS and I haven't enforced SD. These friends' parents have done similar when our DS is in their garden too. I feel children have been through enough with all of this especially with missing so much school and SD is so alien to them. I think the emerging evidence seems to show that children do not get covid as much as adults and don't seem to spread as much as first thought.
Hopefully from Friday in Scotland we move to phase 2 and people from another family can come into our homes so I wanted to see what MN thought about SD with primary aged children. Am I completely wrong here? No shielding issues with any of the children involved or families.

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Aroundtheworldin80moves Wed 17-Jun-20 07:31:58

My DDs played with my DNs without socially distancing in our garden at the weekend. First time either pair had played with other children since March. Did them all a world of good (they are all in non returning year groups)

Bmidreams Wed 17-Jun-20 07:33:26


FraterculaArctica Wed 17-Jun-20 07:36:14

I'm not letting my DC play with other children outside of school yet and nor is anyone else I know.

TimeForLunch Wed 17-Jun-20 07:36:46

I agree. No social distancing for children. This would also allow many more children to return to school. My kids have been meeting friends for a few weeks now (we're in England). They do not distance but the adults do. It has been so good for them and they are back to their old selves after going through a particularly difficult time.

Blondiecub0109 Wed 17-Jun-20 07:36:53

I know someone who is, but her elderly parents are frail (but not shielding and in their own home, going round for SD garden meets now). In order to be consistent she’s very strict with her 4 yo. Seemed harsh to me at first but the alternative in not seeing GP for a long time. He’s not a very boisterous little boy so he’s complying

SnuggyBuggy Wed 17-Jun-20 07:39:34

Small children simply don't social distance. It depends how much risk you want take and how closely you want to follow the rules.

Bmidreams Wed 17-Jun-20 07:39:48

You do realise there's no point the adults social distancing if the kids aren't? Completely socially irresponsible and selfish behaviour. There's other threads with morons doing the same, why not just add to one of them?

TimeForLunch Wed 17-Jun-20 07:45:11

@Bmidreams there is mounting evidence that children are much less likely to catch or spread the virus so there is some point to adults social distancing and children not.

TW2013 Wed 17-Jun-20 07:52:57

Depends how old the primary school children are. If older than about 7 or 8 then yes I would try to encourage social distancing. They might forget a few times but they need to know and at least try to socially distance. Not sure that many younger dc would manage it so then it is up to the parents to assess the risk compared to the mental health. I would still aim for social distancing but accept that there will be a large risk that they are not distancing.

Littlebelina Wed 17-Jun-20 07:54:06

Even if kids do spread it at the same rate as adults (and as time says there is some evidence this is not the case but the jury is out), what you've said bmi is still bollocks. Of course there is a point in reducing your interactions even if others aren't. It could be the case that the adults have it but the children don't (or vice versa of course). On the cruise ships which had infections not everyone caught it. I still socially distance at the school gates even though our children are mixing inside. Saying there is no point adults distancing when the children aren't is more likely to cause folks to spread it.

Of course at this point there is something like 1 in 1600 people in the community that have it so the chances of catching it full stop are tiny. I think your risks are tiny op, hope your kids have fun

Grasspigeons Wed 17-Jun-20 08:01:41

My children (not small) are fine socially distancing and playing outside - i'm not aiming for perfect but they mitigate some of the risk. Id rather they did because i want them to be able to see their grandparents without spreading the virus. I know if they get it they will be fine and they aren't super spreaders but that doesnt mean they cant carry it to my mum.
I dont think younger children remember though

Bmidreams Wed 17-Jun-20 08:01:48

It's estimated about 5000 that have it at least and with lockdown easing it's such a critical time.

Yes of course distance at the school gates, but if you're all in a garden with young children, I'm assuming that child is coming up to you as well and touching your stuff.

I'm not having this debate time and time again. It's selfish behaviour.

Pluckedpencil Wed 17-Jun-20 08:05:25

I think social distancing for children isn't practicable. Here in Italy, the minute they got back together outside, their heads were next to each other, even at 8. I think limiting interactions is going to be the key for the next six months. I.e. small classes with the same children, limited friendships, maybe a couple of friends that you see regularly. It's not practicable long term to not have friends or keep children a metre apart. But a limitation of friends and groups will undoubtedly slow this thing down.

BaronessBomburst Wed 17-Jun-20 08:12:04

The Netherlands kept the parks open and has had no social distancing for under 12s.
Primary schools have been back for weeks, as have clubs and activities.
The infection rates are still less than the UK, and the children are doing a lot, lot better.

trumpisaflump Wed 17-Jun-20 08:14:57

I probably shouldn't have posted this today as I'm working so can't chip in much. I work in a large teaching hospital and I think because we have no covid patients at all I'm more relaxed about the number of active cases in the community. I think the risks are very small and personally the risks of damaging my child's mental health I feel are higher than him catching or spreading the virus.

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trumpisaflump Wed 17-Jun-20 08:16:11

@BaronessBomburst and @Pluckedpencil really interesting to hear about experience outside the UK. Wish I was in Italy or the Netherlands right now!

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TARSCOUT Wed 17-Jun-20 08:17:14

What does it matter you're already doing what you want. Its selfish idiots like you that are responsible for spreading the virus. Fucking idiots, you and your so called parent friends. Harsh, nae luck, truth hurts.

ScarfLadysBag Wed 17-Jun-20 08:21:17

We haven't been enforcing SD with DD and her toddler pals, but the adults have been SDing. Given we are all WFH and no one has been going anywhere the risk is tiny anyway, and given how unlikely young children are to transmit it in the first place we are all comfortable with it. But none of us are queueing outside Primark for hours! We haven't even been inside a shop in more than three months.

trumpisaflump Wed 17-Jun-20 08:22:04

@TARSCOUT it's okay, I'm not hurt by your comments. I was expecting a range of opinions.

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SnuggyBuggy Wed 17-Jun-20 08:22:53

I'm not hurt, I don't have enough energy to care what people think anymore.

VettiyaIruken Wed 17-Jun-20 08:23:26

The only way to enforce social distancing between young children is to put them all in giant hamster balls

MissCowell Wed 17-Jun-20 08:26:06

No, my dc have been social distancing (in fact not been out the house since March). This week they have gone back to school and played with their cousins. They have suffered long enough.

Timefor45 Wed 17-Jun-20 08:32:56

OP, Scotland too and we’ve done exactly the same. We don’t have grandparents on either side though, so I guess that makes it easier to only think about our children's level of Interaction.
Thankfully, alarmists are in the minority now, most people are using common sense and want to sustain good mental health of their children over the very, very small chance they will spread to each other.

ohthegoats Wed 17-Jun-20 08:50:34

My child is back at school. We 'play' with friends from her bubble on the way home - I sort of let it go to see what happened, and in the park (no swings or anything), they mostly play alongside anyway. If you take a football or bats and balls, or scooters etc, then they are 'apart' by nature of the activity. The several parents who are there (we obviously keep apart) encourage things that are apart - tree climbing, hill rolling, racing etc.

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