Masks at playgrounds

How is everyone handling people who aren't masked at playgrounds? At least in Berkeley, there are signs everywhere requiring masks for kids and adults, but obviously some people just ignore them, including those with kids perfectly capable of handling it. It drives me crazy to see people acting like rules don't apply to them, but beyond that, these parents are sending a bad message to the kids and putting the rest of us in untenable positions. Would love any strategies anyone has arrived at. 

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RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I hate to say it but I don't think the mask situation at playgrounds is any different than any other public space. I just got back from a walk on the Ohlone Greenway, very well traveled by cyclists and pedestrians, and about half were masked. (I was!) Many people just don't think it's a priority outside. You certainly can say something to parents or older children but I wouldn't expect to make a huge dent in the problem. You have to decide whether or not the risk is worth it to your family. :(

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I'm not really concerned about no masks outside.  From extensive research and discussion with doctors, Covid has an extremely difficult time to spread outside.  Although these may be the "rules", I put my focus more on where my child will be at risk.  I'd advise if you don't feel comfortable with you child at the park with potentially unmasked children, to not take your child to the park.

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I really wish Public Health would address this. My approach has been to sanitize swings before my kids play on them if there is no one around. If I see a lot of kids - we just avoid it. I was at Fairyland and saw to s of 7/8/9 yr olds not wearing masks. At one point I yelled at my kids “Don’t play near maskless kids!” It worked but shamed all the other kids. I don’t want this generation to be ashamed/scared, but I also want the nonchalant Russians at Heather Farms park to mask their kids ;) 

As a law enforcement officer, I would recommend just walking away. People are crazy even if they are parents. Have a conversation with your kids before going out to play if they are old enough to take turns when others are around.

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

The situation will only change if there's a credible risk of being fined for not wearing a mask, and it doesn't seem that cities are willing to go there. If you know anyone who can influence the city to get them to start ticketing people for not wearing masks (would be a great way to raise revenue!), then persuade them to get this happening! Without that, you'll simply have to adjust your expectations and try not to get upset or stressed when you see people without masks. Yes, they are idiots putting us all at risk, but if they haven't got the message by now they are just too selfish to ever change. 

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

This has been driving me crazy. I just try to keep my kid away from those kids, because he's so excited about the playgrounds being open. If I see a ton of unmasked kids, we go somewhere else. If it's just a few, I say loudly if he's near them that it's not safe for him to play near kids without masks. Then I physically move him if I need to (he's only 2, so easy to grab and move). 

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I agree this is very frustrating. I do think people are getting better over time as they see other kids with masks.

If a kid has a mask but has pulled it down I'll politely ask them to pull it up. Mostly they do. 

If the playground is not too crowded we try to stay in a different area.

If the playground is quite crowded and there are a lot of unmasked kids/adults we usually leave :(

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

We go to playgrounds early, like right after breakfast, arriving around 8:30am. They’re usually empty or nearly empty so we can keep our distance from other families. Once it gets too crowded to distance, usually around 10am, we leave. I don’t see any point in confronting people who don’t mask. Yes, they’re selfish and wrong, but we can’t kick them out of the park so best to just arrange your schedule in a way that reduces the risk to your family. The only exception to this is one time when there were a couple kids who had masks hanging from lanyards around their necks and they’d clearly just forgotten to put them on and their parent wasn’t paying attention - I asked the kids to put their masks on and they did so right away. 

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I recently approached a parent at a park and asked that they help their child with her mask (she was at least five years old). He seemed a bit irritated, but he complied. I think that there are still many people for whom masks are not normalized and I’m of the opinion that direct non-aggressive communication is the most productive route. 

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I'm not into confronting non-masked people and have left several park situations due to people completely disregarding masking and distancing rules. Parks have been really hit or miss for us this year as such. It's a bummer.
The only thing I would imagine you could do is buy a box of disposable kid and adult size masks and offer them to folks as needed. You could also consider writing and posting a sign, parent-to-parent, pleading with them to comply. Honestly though, my instinct is if they're disregarding the rules they are also probably enjoying the benefits of having other families avoid them thus allowing them more free reign of the park.

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

We were just at a park in Alameda last weekend with 4 older kids running around without masks. They were 8-13 years old. I asked the father if he had masks for them. He also had two younger kids without masks and asked if he had to have them all in a mask. I responded "any child over 3 by law should be wearing a mask-if they can't then they should not be at the park."  He seemed annoyed but went to the car and got his kids' masks. I've decided to start speaking up. Why should my family have to leave a public park because we don't feel safe around kids/parents that aren't following the guidelines?    

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I am not sure of the ages of these noncompliant kids, but I hope you can exercise some grace.  Our son is 2 and has severe sensory issues.  He's had a full-on panic attack from getting sand on bare feet at the beach.  We are patiently and consistently working on these issues, but it's not overnight or easy.  You have no idea how many tears I've cried about how trapped we are in the house because he won't - and frankly cannot - wear a mask without hyperventilating.  Our record is 3 min.  We have ventured to some playgrounds precisely because research shows risk is low outside, and because guidance is for kids *over* 2 (ie: 3+), but we were shamed out of the park the past weekend despite deliberately going to other structures when other children came near, and doing our level best to create significant distance between our family and others.  The worst was a parent who said "if my 1 year old can wear a mask, yours can too" and effectively accused me of being a COVID-19 denier.  When I explained my son's challenge and that we were creating distance, low risk outdoors, etc. they were even more cruel.  This is not a contest, and all kids aren't the same, and parents struggling are doing everything they can for a child with special needs - some of which may not be visible running around the playground.

RE: Masks at playgrounds ()

I've asked a couple of parents to help their kids put masks on and haven't had any negative reactions - one said he didn't have a mask for his kid, but he was nice about it at least (so the approach of carrying disposable masks would have worked there). We usually avoid the parks if there are too many kids there, but I'm all for asking people nicely to put masks on their kids because I think it's important to create the culture of wearing masks, and a culture of us all being in this together and doing our part to keep each other safe.