Organized sports, both indoors and outdoors, can now resume in accordance with health and safety protocols. However, with the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 with higher infectivity rates, transmission during outdoor activities is of greater concern. To reduce risk, state and local governments, as well as sports governing bodies, recommend modifications to practices, competitions and events. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that decisions be made at the local level when considering cancellations, delays, or limitations in sports.
Participating in sports and physical activity allows young people to improve their cardiovascular health, strength, body composition and general fitness.
Outdoor activitiesthat allow constant use of face coverings and physical distancing are lower risk than indoor activities that involve close contact between participants and high effort that increases the spread of exhaled particles. All children should have an annual health monitoring visit, which ideally incorporates pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE; also known as a sports physical exam). With prolonged rest from activity, athletes are at significant risk of injury when they return to sports.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for children and adolescents to engage in physical activity and participate in sports have sometimes been substantially reduced. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask for all indoor sports, training, competition and on the sidelines. Water sports such as swimming, diving and water polo should be avoided as wet masks can be difficult to breathe. Organized team sports can also resume outdoors, meaning grassroots competitions can take place before the Easter holidays without the need for social distancing.
That's why, for starters, we allow the resumption of outdoor activities, outdoor grassroots sports, and outdoor social mixing, subject to the six-two-household rule. All athletes should be monitored for mood changes, especially those whose sports have been disrupted. To ensure safety while resuming outdoor sports activities during the pandemic, it is important to follow certain guidelines. Athletes should be aware of their own health status and should not participate if they are feeling unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19. It is also important to maintain physical distancing while participating in outdoor activities and wear a face covering when possible. Additionally, athletes should avoid sharing equipment or water bottles and practice good hygiene by washing their hands regularly. In conclusion, outdoor sports activities can resume safely during the pandemic if certain guidelines are followed.
It is important to follow local regulations and adhere to safety protocols such as wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing. Additionally, athletes should be aware of their own health status and practice good hygiene by washing their hands regularly.