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Published on June 16, 2020

boy practicing soccer with team and coach

Summer Sport Camps and Your Kids’ Safety

Kids who are serious about sports see summer camps as a way to help them run faster, play harder and get better. Moms and dads like this wholesome option for keeping their children active and engaged while school is out.

But is it safe? Jason Askew, Executive Director of Sports Medicine with Avera Sports, offers these insights for parents who are looking to sign up kids for sports camps this summer.

Question: While we have all learned the basics about COVID prevention, what advice would you offer parents about summer sports camps?

Answer: Parents should consider their comfort level as restrictions decrease. Groups are able to offer programs and camps, sure, but it’s important that each family decides what is best for them. Avera Sports hosts camps, and we’re following guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the city of Sioux Falls. We have staged our reopening for our various sports-specific camps, but the decision to take part in any summer programming is a personal one.

Q: What steps have you implemented for Avera Sports camps?

A: We are screening all athletes each time they come in, with temperature checks and screening questions. We have limited our group sizes in our various programs to allow for social distancing, and staggered our group start times to allow athletes to enter and exit in smaller numbers. We also set up specific entry and exits to limit congregation and allow flow.

We are cleaning and disinfecting our playing surfaces three or four times per day, disinfecting equipment after each group uses it as well as adding hand sanitizing stations at key points. We require all athletes to wear masks while in common areas and we’re limiting spectators to reduce the people in our facilities.

Q: Are there different considerations for kids of different ages?

A: For younger athletes, we keep the training sessions a little shorter, but we have always structured our training in that way.

Q: What advice would you offer participants who have not been as active as normal?

A: We are seeing this. Athletes come in to start training that haven’t been able to stay as active as they would have liked. Just like any exercise program, we recommend to gradually work into training. There will be soreness and fatigue need to adapt to.

We recommend starting with a few workouts each week and allowing enough time between workouts to adequately recover. As athletes start adjusting, the frequency can be increased. Another concern is heat and humidity. Drink plenty of fluids, especially just plain old water as it’s best, and rest in shaded areas. Keep workouts shorter as you get more used to the heat and humidity.

Q: What else should parents know?

A: Monitor your son and daughter daily to see if they are exhibiting any symptoms. If they aren’t feeling good, don’t send them to a training session or a baseball game.

We all have heard it, but we still need to maintain safeguards like hand hygiene, social distancing and face masks. They help keep families – and our neighbors – as safe as possible.

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