You may need to keep your kids away from playgrounds these school holidays
According to one study (that has yet to be evaluated by peer review), coronavirus lasts "on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 2 to 3 days."
Knowing how long the coronavirus lasts outside of the body, and how to keep surfaces clean may bring some peace of mind, or at the very least, keep paranoia at bay. (iStock)
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With the first school term soon coming to an early end this week, on 18 March as opposed to 20 March, many parents might be wondering whether to allow their kids any social interaction during the holidays. 

This given that the number of Covid-19 cases in SA grows by the day. 

The Department of Health recently posted the following information (follow them to remain updated): 

Experts have suggest social distancing as a temporary remedy. 

And yet, self-quarantine is not an option for all, with many parents planning playdates and outings for the upcoming holidays, all of which involves social interaction. 

But apart from proper hygiene etiquette, is there anything else parents need to know about staying safe? 

From 3 hours to 9 days: How long the coronavirus lasts outside of the body 

Knowing how long the coronavirus lasts outside of the body, and how to keep surfaces clean may bring some peace of mind, or at the very least, keep paranoia at bay. 

According to one study (which has yet to be evaluated by peer review), coronavirus survive "on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 2 to 3 days." 

The study also notes that "the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours." 

Keeping surfaces clean 

Plastic, metal and glass surfaces remain contaminated for up to nine days at room temperature, reported the The Journal of Hospital Infection published earlier this year using data from several human coronaviruses studies (excluding the current strain). 

And since many playground structures are made of plastic and steel, it's advisable to rather keep your distance, for now. 

On the plus side, researchers found that household disinfectants can be used to keep surfaces clean and "inactivate coronaviruses within a minute." 

But given that the research is not based on the current strain, Covid-19, there remains a degree of uncertainty.

Parent24 has more resources available on coronovirus and your family, which you'll be able to access by following the links below: 

Pregnant or breastfeeding:

Coronavirus: What pregnant women need to know

School and activities:

Coronavirus: Is it safe to take your kids to daycare, and other questions parents ask

Coronavirus: Will South African schools be closing, and what will that mean to parents?

Coronavirus: Is closing schools an effective measure to prevent an outbreak? History has some answers

PRINTABLE | CORONAVIRUS: Handwashing steps for young children and teens

What to tell the kids:

What to tell your kids about coronavirus, and how to help them stay safe

WATCH | Kids, learn how to wash your hands properly with these catchy tunes

Eight tips on what to tell your kids about coronavirus

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