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Doctor says these 4 sports are dangerous for kids to play during COVID-19

Leading Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Sports Medicine Doctor also weighs in on the sports that he believes are the safest for children to play.

ATLANTA — Kids are asking to play sports and parents want to know if it's safe. 

Club sports are currently permitted under Georgia state guidelines, but many families are struggling with whether or not they should permit it. 

Children can't wait to get back out on the field, or court, or mat - they say it makes them feel normal. But how much of it is safe, and how can parents protect their kids?

The doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have been thinking about this a lot and have some really great advice. 

Dr. David Marshall is fielding calls from parents daily regarding how they can let young athletes play while staying safe. 

He said sports are not completely off the table. 

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"They can still do sports-specific workouts, they may just not be able to be as close to their teammates as they would like and hopefully things will calm down. And hopefully, we'll get back into more normalcy as things calm down," said Dr. Marshall.  

But until then, he said parents and children need to do everything they can to protect themselves. 

"The question becomes, how do I do that? It seems too optimistic. But its really not. If you adhere to four basic principals, you almost eliminate your risk of getting the virus," he said. 

  • Stay home if you're sick. 
  • Practice distancing, even on the field
  • Wear a mask, while not actively playing the sport 
  • Practice good hand hygiene every day

"If everyone did this, I think we would see a rapid decrease in the transmission of COVID," he said.  

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He said families also need to think about what sports present the most risk. 

In Marshall's opinion, wrestling, football, basketball, and lacrosse are the most dangerous for COVID-19 transmission. 

He said cross country, golf, tennis, and gymnastics are the least dangerous for coronavirus transmission. He also thinks all kids need to see their doctor before getting back out on the field. 

"I think that we can stress that in order to go back and play your sport, make sure you have a visit with your pediatrician to make sure you're fit and ready," he said. 

He said students should not be sharing equipment at all - meaning everything they need to play the game should be theirs and theirs alone. 

He said kids shouldn't be sitting on the bench together, they shouldn't high 5 or fist bump to celebrate, and he doesn't think they should hang around after practice either. So even if you give your kids the green light to get back to sports -- it's going to look a lot different. 

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