A boy going to his soccer game wearing a face mask during COVID-19.
Sports / Orthopedic

Sports and COVID-19: Keeping Your Kids Safe

Jul 29 2020

Recreational sports leagues look a lot different for our kids right now than they did just one year ago. In some cases, leagues have been cancelled or postponed.

The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely creating challenges when it comes to our kids participating in recreational sports. However, having your child practice preventive measures during practice and games will help keep them and everyone else safe from this virus.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when sending your kid off to their sporting event:

  • Take their temperature. Check it before heading out the door. If it is over 100 degrees, let the coach know your child will be sitting this one out.
  • Do a quick “social circle” evaluation. Has anyone in your circle tested positive for COVID-19? Have you spent time with them in the last two weeks? If yes, stay home and monitor your child’s symptoms.
  • Keep their hands clean. Before heading out, have you child wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Also, have them use hand sanitizer upon arrival and departure from practices/games. You can even send a hand sanitizer bottle with your kid to use after touching shared equipment.
  • Remind about “respiratory etiquette.” Remind your kids to not spit and to cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbow while around their teammates. Washing or sanitizing their hands immediately after a sneeze or cough is important too.
  • Stock up on cloth face coverings. While masks may not be required during actual play, kids should be encouraged to wear them while on the sidelines and before/after practices or games. Have a few on hand and wash them frequently.
  • Pack your own water bottle and snacks. Communal food and drinks should be avoided at this time to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Be prepared and pack your kid their own water.
  • Bring a towel. Especially if playing sports outside in the summer heat, pack a towel for your child. Make sure they know it is only for them to use.

And for parents, you need to always set a good example for your kiddos. While at their practice or game, be sure to wear a face mask, maintain proper physical distancing from other spectators and sanitize your hands when appropriate.

Another concern as kids reenter the recreational sports world is injuries. If your child has not been as active as usual, injuries can happen if they take on too much too soon.

“In terms of avoiding injury when returning to play, the key is progression,” shares Jeffrey Johnston, MD, a Mercy Health orthopedic sports medicine physician. “Many sports are now resuming after a shortened preseason, which may predispose athletes to injury from being deconditioned. Athletes should be sure not to overdo workouts early on and allow appropriate acclimation as they get back to playing their respective sports.”

Learn more about the sports medicine services we offer at Mercy Health.

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