Is It Safe For My Child To Return To Football Training?
Tue 23 February 2021
Tips For Parents
With Covid-19 putting a stop to all youth sport so far in 2021 kids across the country are counting down the days until they can get back to playing football.
The government recently set out their road map to return from the national lockdown, which sees a return to football and all grassroots sports on March 29th.
But many parents may still wonder if it's safe to return to football.
Here's what to know when deciding if a return to football is right for your child.
Is Anyone In Your Household At Risk For Coronavirus?
Some demographics and groups are far more likely to get extremely ill from coronavirus. This includes adults age 65 or older and people with health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, or a weak immune system.
If your child has a health problem, or lives with someone in a high-risk group, talk to your doctor about whether it's safe for your child to return to sports.
Is It Safe To Play In Your Area?
Before returning to training make sure you check online to see the current rate of infections in your area.
Consider how many COVID cases are in your area. If cases are sharply rising, it might not be advisable for kids to play sports. In areas with few cases, returning to sports may be reasonable.
What Do Health Experts Say About Playing Sports During The Pandemic?
Playing sport provides a huge number of benefits for children, including keeping fit, developing social skills, and improving mental health.
Experts say that all sports, including football, can be done safely as long as the correct guidelines and precautions are in place.
Therefore you should make sure your child's sports provider is taking all the recommended steps to make their sessions as safe as possible for your child.
These precautions include:
- Washing hands before and after training (using hand sanitiser when soap and water aren't available).
- Training being done outside wherever possible.
- Wearing masks or face coverings when inside.
- Social distancing should be enforced when players aren't participating.
- Regular cleaning of shared equipment and facilities (Before and after training).
At We Make Footballers we make sure all of the above is done at each one of our sessions, to ensure the health and safety of both our players and parents.
Kids are far less likely to catch and spread the virus than adults. However longer, closer contact with an infected person increases their risk, as can the sport they play and the setting they play it in.
You should therefore make sure you consider a number of factors about your child's sports provider and the practices and facilities they use.
Things to consider include:
- Number of players | Obviously playing in smaller groups is better than large teams. At We Make Footballers we limit our matches to 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3.
- Indoor versus outdoor setting | It's safer to hold activities outdoors. At WMF we have both indoor and outdoor facilities so during this time we will only be using our outdoor pitches.
- Size of an indoor facility and its ventilation | Large indoor venues with good airflow can lower the chances of infection. At WMF this isn't a concern as we won't be using our indoor facilities until the winter of 2021 at the earliest.
- Whether facilities and equipment are shared | If facilities and equipment are shared without being properly cleaned then the risk of infection increases. Here at WMF we use our own equipment and we ensure it is cleaned before and after each session.
- Travel outside of the community. Traveling increases the chances of spreading the virus, so make sure you only return to football if the venue your child trains at is close to home. WMF Ealing's venues are at Pitshanger Park and Brentside High School.
return to football