Speculates on Returning to Sports following COVID-19 Speculates on Returning to Sports following COVID-19

Parents have many questions regarding COVID-19 and a return to activities after their child has been infected with the coronavirus. For example, they want to know what pediatricians look for when evaluating a child who wishes to return to physical activities. Furthermore, they need information on masks and whether a child should wear them during a game or practice. 

Updated Guidance

The AAP updates guidance on returning to sports/activity after COVID-19 regularly, as new information continues to be learned about the virus. They want parents to feel safe allowing their children to return to normal activities. In addition, as more people get vaccinated, this information will change in the future most likely. Parents can feel confident knowing they have guidance when it comes to keeping their kids safe. Feel free to see this page and learn more about protecting children with the help of a disposable face mask.

Working Together for the Safety of Kids

The AAP is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update guidance in this area. For example, they feel a face mask isn’t needed at all times when a child is participating in physical activities. However, if they are in a crowded space, a face mask remains a good idea, even for those who are vaccinated.

Athletes who have yet to achieve full vaccination status should wear a face mask when outdoors and standing on the sidelines. They also need the mask when they are training in a group or competing outdoors if there is the risk of sustained contact of three feet or less. These players should have their masks on when entering and leaving the playing facility and the playing field.

For indoor sports, individuals who aren’t fully vaccinated need to wear a mask at all times. The only exception is when the mask by StringKing might pose a safety hazard. All volunteers, spectators, coaches, and officials need to continue wearing their masks until they have achieved full vaccination status.

Certain sports come with very little risk of transmission of COVID-19 and therefore don’t require the use of the mask, according to, the AAP, and the CDC. However, wearing a mask indoors reduces the risk of transmission to levels seen with outdoor sports. Nevertheless, if wearing the mask increases the risk of a heat-related illness, it shouldn’t be worn. 

Returning to Sports After Suffering from COVID-19

Athletes must know when to return to the playing field following a bout with COVID. Pediatricians should notify a patient if they test positive for COVID, as some asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients have developed myocarditis. The pediatrician must monitor the patient for shortness of breath, chest pain, and other symptoms. If the patient exhibits any symptoms of myocarditis, an EKG may be considered before they return to the playing field.

Moderate symptoms call for a visit to the doctor. The pediatrician looks for signs of multisystem inflammatory syndrome. If none are found, the patient should refrain from exercise until all symptoms are resolved and the doctor gives the all-clear. The doctor may recommend doing a complete exam of the patient while emphasizing any cardiac symptoms the patient is experiencing. An EKG may also be needed.

Severe COVID-19 symptoms call for abstaining from exercise for a minimum of three months. Cardiology clearance is needed before the child begins taking part in physical activity again.

Doctors should follow up with patients following a COVID-19 infection. During well visit checks, the pediatrician should provide guidance on resuming physical activity. Patients should start at 25 percent of their usual intensity and volume initially and only exercise every other day. Increase volume and intensity by ten percent each week until the desired levels are achieved. Furthermore, the AAP encourages every person to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they become eligible.

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