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Ms. Hester is Content Specialist with Contemporary OB/GYN and Contemporary Pediatrics.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their guidance on participating in sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children all over the United States have continued to play sports during the pandemic, taking into consideration the recommendations from a number of health organizations. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently updated their guidance for protecting children and adolescents during sports participation and created easy-to-follow checklists for families and sports organizers to follow.1
Before the season or sports event begins, the guidance recommends that both groups:
Before either practice or games start, sports organizers and families should ensure:
During practice, children and sports staff should:
In the case of a child becoming infected with COVID-19, the child should only return to exercise or sports after approval from the doctor. There should be a minimum of 10 days with no exercise or competition and then a gradual return to activity over at least 7 days. Due to the cardiovascular after-effects that have been noted with COVID-19, the child should receive a screening that looks at symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, fainting, or irregular heartbeat. If a child has a screening that finds those symptoms, he or she may require an electrocardiogram or other cardiac tests. If the child is diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or has a severe COVID-19 case, he or she should not exercise or compete for 3 to 6 months and should be seen by a pediatric cardiologist before resuming physical activity.
1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Youth sports participation during covid-19: a safety checklist. HealthyChildren.com. Updated December 4, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Youth-Sports-Participation-During-COVID-19-A-Safety-Checklist.aspx.