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March 25, 2020
In these uncertain times brought on by COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus, your family’s health and safety should be the top priority. All over the world, lockdowns and quarantines are imposed to ensure that the deadly virus will not spread and infect others in crowds and large gatherings.
Because the virus is spread by close contact with those who are infected, parents and guardians are understandably wary about community spaces where their kids get together. These include rubber mulch playgrounds - whether it’s a public or a private one. Respiratory droplets could be transmitted from an infected child or adult to a healthy person if they sneeze or cough even from six feet away. Studies also show that the virus can remain on certain surfaces like metal, wood, plastic, rubber, and cloth from anywhere between hours or days.
So what is the solution to prevent it from spreading? The answer is to clean and disinfect your rubber mulch playground (and everything in it) properly.
The best practice to prevent any kind of illness, whether it’s respiratory or otherwise, is still to regularly clean surfaces. This typically means on a daily basis. While cleaning doesn’t necessarily mean being able to kill all germs and bacteria on surfaces, doing it regularly will lessen the chances of spreading infection because you’re removing them from these surfaces.
Since rubber is porous, viruses will not last as long on its surface compared to nonporous materials like steel, plastic, or ceramic. Still, it’s wise to clean the entire area (including all surfaces) with environmentally friendly soap and rinse away thoroughly with a high-pressure hose afterward. In particular, the novel coronavirus is encased in a fat layer that protects the virus inside it. By giving surfaces (and your hands) a good washing with soap, it will dissolve this layer and help prevent the virus from spreading further.
Disinfecting is the act of introducing chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It risks the possibility of infection further after cleaning by killing the remaining germs.
Most household cleaners and disinfectants are good to use for disinfecting on a regular basis. Just make sure to follow instructions carefully, then wipe down or mop thoroughly where the cleaning agent is applicable (it could depend on the material of the surface). It is also wise to ventilate during and after disinfecting. Also, make sure to wear protective gloves and a mask so as not to damage your skin or inhale harmful fumes.
Better yet, stay indoors for the time being or restrict playtime outside. Social distancing and constant washing of hands (plus not touching your face) could save your kids’ lives as well as that of others.
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