Protect Your Children From COVID While Playing Sports | Health Info



(Health day)

SATURDAY September 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) – COVID-19 shouldn’t leave aspiring athletes on the sidelines. But it is essential to protect them from the coronavirus while playing sports.

The National Association of Sports Coaches has some timely advice.

COVID vaccines for ages 12 and over have been a game-changer for many families. Getting fully immunized can make it safer to return to sport, the association said.

But for children too young to get the vaccine, it’s important to take steps that reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

Also, keep in mind that children who were less active during the pandemic are at risk of injury. Additionally, any child or adolescent who has recently had COVID-19 should have a cardiac assessment before resuming physical activity.

Before the start of the sports season:

  • Understand the safety rules and expectations and discuss them with your child.
  • Make sure your children have a face mask, hand sanitizer, towel, water bottle, and tissues labeled with their name
  • See your doctor if your child needs a pre-participation physical exam.
  • If your kids weren’t active during COVID-19, start exercising. For sports with a lot of running, consider a beginner conditioning program before the season.

Before training or games:

  • Keep your kids home away from workouts or games if they’re feeling sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Have your children wash their hands before arriving, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Bring labeled personal sports equipment, water bottle, towel, tissues, hand sanitizer, and face shield.
  • For children who are not fully immunized, wear face masks when entering or leaving the playground. Encourage your child to wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces.
  • During play, children should tell a trainer if they are feeling unwell and leave the practice or play with a parent or guardian.

Resumption of physical activity after infection with COVID-19:

  • If your child has a positive COVID-19 test, let your pediatrician know.
  • Screen children with no symptoms or mild symptoms of COVID-19 for heart symptoms. People with moderate symptoms should not exercise until their symptoms have resolved and have been screened for the heart.
  • Children who are very sick with COVID-19 should be treated as if they have inflamed heart muscle (myocarditis). They should not exercise or compete for three to six months. A pediatric cardiologist should examine these children before they are allowed to resume exercise or competition.
  • If the sport is taking place outdoors and your child is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they should wear face masks when on the sidelines, in the canoe and during team discussions.
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated should wear a face mask for all indoor sports.

Masks should not be worn during:

  • Nautical sports.
  • Gymnastics, stunts and tumbling, and wrestling.
  • Exceptions to masks may be appropriate when the risk of heat-related illness is high.
  • Unless fully immunized, coaches, officials, spectators and volunteers should wear masks. Additionally, anyone over the age of 2 who has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 must wear a mask.

TO help protect unvaccinated children, try to avoid:

  • Huddles, high-fives, punches and handshakes.
  • Share food or drink.
  • Cheering, chanting or chanting within 6 to 8 feet of others.
  • Spit or blow your nose without a tissue.
  • Store personal equipment within 6 to 8 feet of other equipment.
  • Share material as much as possible. (Remember to disinfect your hands before and after using balls, sticks, sticks and other equipment that must be shared).

After sports or games:

  • Disinfect or wash your hands.
  • Wash or replace face masks, towels, and practice clothes or uniforms.
  • Clean personal equipment and water bottles.

SOURCE: National Association of Athletics Coaches, press release, September 21, 2021

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