1Life Healthcare Inc.

08/07/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/07/2020 22:24

Is it Safe To Play Team Sports During COVID-19?

Prompting concern among parents is the close proximity with which kids interact while playing sports. Everytime your kids interact with another person, they risk exposing themselves and others to the virus. According to the CDC, this risk can be different, depending on the type of sport. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth sports settings as follows:

  • Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.
  • Increasing Risk: Team-based practice.
  • More Risk: Within-team competition.
  • Even More Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area.
  • Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.

The risk of COVID-19 spread increases with the more people a child or coach interacts with, the closer the physical interaction, the more sharing of equipment there is by multiple players, and the longer that interaction lasts. When deciding whether your child should play a sport right now, opt for activities that allow for as much social distancing as possible. 'At the moment, any gathering that does not allow you to socially distance and wear a mask is risky,' says Richardson. 'It is still quite risky to participate in sports, but the level of risk may be lower in sports that allow you to distance yourself from others and wear masks.' He suggests sports like golf and tennis that do not rely on close interaction. Individual water sports, staggered running, and frisbee golf are other good options.

You should also consider the size of the team and the number of spectators involved when making this decision. Bigger teams can be more difficult to manage and too many parents, family members, and other spectators can increase your child's risk of exposure to COVID-19. You may also choose to avoid any sports involving travel competition where your child could be exposed to players from areas with more cases of COVID-19.