The pandemic should not keep children sidelining their sports. But it is equally important To keep them safe from the virus while doing so.
Some tips have been shared by the National Athletic Trainers Association. The association said that vaccines for COVID-19 for people about 12 years old have proven to be a game-changer. Being fully vaccinated ensures safety while playing sports. But for kids who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated, it is essential to take steps that will prevent them from contracting the virus.
Tips To Keep Kids Safe From COVID-19 While Playing Sports
They said that children who have not been much active during the pandemic months have a higher risk for injury. Any kid or adolescent who recently recovered from COVID-19 should undergo a heart evaluation before resuming any physical activity.
Some of the tips were advised for the pre-sport season. Parents are advised to understand the rules for safety and talk about them with their kids. It is important that parents make sure their kids carry a water bottle, mask, hand sanitizer, tissues, and towel labeled with their names.
It is important to examine whether a kid needs a physical examination before participating in any sports. The association advised parents that before going to sports, they should start with easy exercises.
Some tips were before a practice or game starts. Parents are advised to keep their kids home if they feel sick or experienced any COVID-19 symptoms. Before arriving, kids should wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Children should take labeled sports equipment, tissues, facemask, water bottles, and hand sanitizer to the practice.
If a child is not fully vaccinated, it becomes important to mask up before arriving or leaving the field. Parents should encourage their kids to mask up in crowded indoor places. If children are not feeling well during practice, the coach should be informed firsthand.
Parents should notify their pediatrician if their children test COVID-19 positive. If a child is not experiencing any symptoms or has mild symptoms, then it is important to get screened for heart-related symptoms.
Children who fell extremely ill from coronavirus should not exercise for at least 3 to 6 months. Before allowing them participation, they should get examined by a pediatric cardiologist.
The association advised that masks shouldn’t be worn during gymnastics, water sports, wrestling, cheer stunts, and tumbling. If the spectators, volunteers, officials, and coaches are not fully vaccinated they should wear masks.
To protect unvaccinated children, parents should teach their kids to avoid high-fives, huddles, handshakes, and fist bumps. Children should refrain from sharing drinks or food. While chanting, singing, or cheering a distance of 6 to 8 feet should be insured. Kids should be taught to place their personal equipment at a distance of at least 8 feet from other equipment.
Before using bats, steaks, balls, and other sports equipment, sanitizing should be remembered. Parents should teach their children to wash hands or sanitize after coming back from their sports practice. Towels, facemasks, clothes, and uniforms should be washed. If the masks are unwashable, they should be replaced. Water bottles and personal equipment should be cleaned.
Growing evidence is being shown by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mask mandates prevent outbreaks in schools. 520 counties of the United States were analyzed and the CDC found that COVID-19 cases among children shot up sharply in places that did not enforce mask mandates in schools.
Surveys show the majority of parents in support of mask mandates. Even the CDC has recommended them, but schools remain indecisive over if they should implement them. Those opposing the mandates want parents to choose whether to make their children wear masks or not. Whether mandates or not, health officials and physicians all around the country believe that eligible children should get vaccinated.