5 Expert-Recommended Safety Tips For Attending an Amusement Park Amid COVID-19

Murphy Moroney

Disney World reopened with restrictions on July 11, and while many other amusement parks are following suit throughout the US, things are far from back to normal. For families, a day spent at an amusement park is certainly tempting, however, parents should know that doing so is still considered a moderate- to high-risk activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If your family is considering going to an amusement park, it's best to take precautions while visiting amid COVID-19. To get a better understanding of what parents should take into account, we asked Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, for his best tips. Find his recommendations ahead.

Related: A Play Expert Reveals What Kids Really Mean When They Say "I'm So Bored!"

1. Don't forget to social distance at the amusement park.

Of course, one of the key elements of staying safe while out and about in public is staying six feet away from other guests. However, according to Dr. Gonsenhauser, doing this effectively could be especially hard in an amusement-park setting.

"Social distancing can be challenging at an amusement park," he told POPSUGAR. "I haven't specifically seen what various parks are doing as far as their social-distancing approach goes, but I would venture to guess that the vast majority of them have at least attempted to accommodate social distancing when it comes to the lines. The information that the World Health Organization released [on July 9] opens the door for interpretation of potential airborne spread, and that really changes the nature of transmission dramatically."

In parks like Disney World and Six Flags, visitors are being asked to use markers set up on the ground to ensure they stay six feet away from other guests in line. Additionally, elements like door handles and queue railings are being routinely wiped down.

2. Always wear a mask while at the amusement park.

Having family members over the age of 2 wear masks in amusement parks is incredibly important given the routine amount of screaming and talking. "It calls to question how effective [wearing a mask and social distancing] will be, particularly in places where the communication is beyond the normal quiet conversation," he said. "There's more yelling, screaming, and loud laughter - basically all the things that amusement parks are designed to elicit. Those masks might be a little bit less effective, and people really need to be aware that there is likely an elevated risk."

Related: 20 Kid-Friendly Backyard Activities You Haven't Thought of Yet

3. Practice good hand hygiene at amusement parks.

According to the CDC, handwashing is the name of the game amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and it should certainly be emphasized even more so at amusement parks. "The use of facial coverings [or] face masks and aggressive hand hygiene are still the central tenants of your defense," Dr. Gonsenhauser said. "Wiping things you touch down in conjunction with engaging in aggressive hand hygiene practices is a good start."

Parents should also research whether the amusement park they're visiting is either giving out free sanitizer or selling it at the gift shop. If it's not, families should consider bringing their own supply.

Related: Sesame Place Will Reopen on July 24 With Added Safety Precautions

4. Stay away from concessions, games, and indoor activities at amusement parks.

Just because some indoor attractions might be open doesn't mean you should necessarily take part in them. "The huge benefit to amusement parks is that the majority of what you do is outdoors, and that's going to help families significantly," Dr. Gonsenhauser said. "If I were to bring my family to an amusement park, I would definitely be avoiding any of the indoor attractions, and I would be sticking solely to outdoor activities."

A good rule of thumb? If it's not fully outdoors, steer clear of the activity in question. "Wherever possible, limit your interactions with the concession stands or the additional games with prizes," he cautioned. "I wouldn't be doing the ticketed games or going in the gift shop."

Related: You Can Make Your Own Slip 'n' Slide For Under $10 - Here's How

5. Don't bring additional people to the amusement park.

Because little ones under the age of 2 aren't advised to wear masks, it's best to limit visitors to those older guests who are going to make the most of the attractions. According to Dr. Gonsenhauser, there's no sense in putting family members at risk if they can't fully participate.

"Amusement parks have been a longtime activity that's based on the family going together as a whole," he said. "Sometimes it would include babies, toddlers, and grandparents who just wanted to spend the time together. If your goal is to simply spend time together as a family and it's not the rides and attractions that you're going for, I think that you can find better, safer activities to have that family time. I would save the amusement park for the kids and adults who want to spend time at the attractions and limit the attendees to only those people."

More From

  • Nia DaCosta Will Take Lead on Captain Marvel 2 as the First Black Woman to Direct a Marvel Film

    Marvel Studios has tapped filmmaker Nia DaCosta to direct Captain Marvel 2, Deadline first reported on Wednesday afternoon. DaCosta - who's the director of the horror film Candyman - is the first Black woman and fourth woman to direct a Marvel Studios picture.

  • Concerned About Drinking While on Birth Control? Here's What You Need to Know

    Like many medications, birth control just doesn't mix with some things, including certain antibiotics and even some supplements like melatonin - but if you're worried that alcohol may affect how your birth control is absorbed, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Having an occasional drink won't make the pill any less effective, Kameelah Phillips, MD, IBCLC, a board-certified ob-gyn and founder of Calla Women's Health in New York, told POPSUGAR.

  • Lili Reinhart's Stacked Beauty Routine During Shelter in Place Costs Over $400

    Raise your hand if your skin has been putting up a fight since, well, March. (I can't see you, so I'm just going to assume you're in the same boat and move on.) Stress, face coverings, trying new products back to back, a bad sleep schedule - all of this can take a toll on your skin and lead to an increase in breakouts, flare-ups, and irritation. To combat this, Lili Reinhart has been stepping up her skin-care game and gave her followers a peek at the products she's leaning on the most. Renée Rouleau, Augustinus Bader, and other cult-favorite brands were included in the snapshot on her Instagram Stories. "Shoutout to some of my faves getting me through these days," read the text on the photo. Also included in the mix with her beauty products is a Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare facial steamer. A steam treatment can help loosen the gunk in your pores, allow products to penetrate deeper into the skin, and also clear your sinuses. (This must be the key to Reinhart's glowing complexion, therefore we're buying one ASAP.) Take a closer look at the products in Reinhart's stay-at-home beauty routine ahead.

  • 16 Low-Carb Snacks That Will Keep You Satisfied Until Dinner

    When it comes to snack time, we want something to keep us full and focused as we're trying to live our lives. We're looking for options filled with protein and that have a lower carbohydrate content. These snacks will keep you full, focused, and satisfied all day long. This list includes protein bars that can keep us full, salty snacks worth keeping on hand, and sweet treats. You can feel like you're indulging, but every one of these picks has 10 grams or less of net carbohydrates per serving. Basically, there's no reason not to shop. Related: 17 Low-Carb Recipes That Are So Simple, You'll Never Be Tempted by Takeout Again