As COVID-19 spreads, it continues to create roadblocks for typical activities. For families with younger children, this includes recreational sports leagues.
These leagues now look a lot different than they did just a year ago. Some leagues have even been forced to cancel or postpone due to this virus.
If your child is still participating in practices and games, it is important for them to follow preventive measures to keep themselves, your family and their teammates safe. Here are a few safety steps for everyone to keep in mind.
- Evaluate your social circle. Has anyone you’ve been around in the last two weeks tested positive for COVID-19? If so, you’ll need to stay home and monitor your family’s symptoms.
- Take your child’s temperature. Always check it before heading out the door to go somewhere. If it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they will need to stay home.
- Talk about respiratory etiquette. Teach your kids how to use the inside of their elbow when they need to cough or sneeze around their teammates. Washing or sanitizing hands after a sneeze or a cough is a must, too.
- Bring your own water bottle and snacks. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, sharing drinks and snacks should be avoided at this time. Plan ahead and bring individual water bottles and healthy snacks for your kid.
- Keep their hands clean. Whenever you leave the house, you and your child should wash your hands Wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Using hand sanitizer before and after any practice or game is recommended as well after touching any shared equipment.
- Bring a towel. Have your child pack their own so they aren’t tempted to share with a teammate. This is a great idea, especially for sports played in the summer heat.
- Always have an extra face mask. They are good to have on hand, and reusable masks should be washed frequently. While face masks might not be required during the actual game, kids should wear them while on the sidelines.
And for parents, you’ll need to lead by example! While watching your child’s practice or game, wear a face mask, keep a distance of six feet or more from others and bring hand sanitizer to use.
As kids reenter the recreational sports world, injuries are another concern. This is especially true if your child has not been as active as usual and tries to do too much too soon.
“The key to avoiding injury as you return to sports is progression,” shares Marcus Blackstone, MD, chief clinical officer at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “Most sports are beginning without much of a preseason, which means athletes might be deconditioned, predisposing them to injury. As sports resume, athletes should allow for a gradual increase in activity, making sure not to overdo workouts in the beginning. Additionally, off the field, athletes should continue to practice safe habits, like wearing masks, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding large groups where masks are not being used.”
Learn more about the sports medicine services we offer at Bon Secours.