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NATA Teams Up With AAP & AMSSM To Help Navigate Youth Sports During The Pandemic

SOURCE: National Athletic Trainers' Association

DALLAS, TX – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Society For Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) have joined forces to address growing concerns and confusion amid youth sports and recreation participation during the coronavirus pandemic. “Play Informed Sports and Recreation Through the Pandemic” is a free virtual series – Aug. 11-13 – where medical professionals will provide practical resources, actionable information and meaningful conversations for parents and caregivers about youth sports participation during the pandemic. This series is part of an overall initiative, by three leaders in health care, to expand and strengthen collaboration and coordination during the ongoing response to COVID-19, and to support safe participation for youth, coaches and spectators, when appropriate, during an often-changing sports landscape.

As a complement to the virtual series, three parent-focused resources are also released today: Understanding Risk Related to COVID-19 and SportsSafety Checklist for Sports Participation during COVID-19 and Cloth Face Coverings in Youth Sport.

Market research, initiated by the three associations, with more than 1,500 parent respondents, found that almost 70% had youth athletes that were already playing or intended to let their child participate fully as soon as sports return. More than 27% of parents were unsure if their child should return to sports. More than 96% of respondents desired additional information and guidance on how to return to sports and engage their youth athletes in sports as safely as possible during the pandemic. Based on these findings, the “Play Informed Sports and Recreation Through the Pandemic” virtual series seeks to provide parents with objective, research-based and practical recommendations related to sports and COVID-19 to make the best decisions for their family. 

“This partnership is an extension of the natural collaboration that athletic trainers have with sports medicine physicians and pediatricians for the greater good of the patient. NATA is proud to partner with two extraordinary associations, AAP and AMSSM, to help families make smarter, more informed decisions and to share the various ways parents can partner with their local sports organizations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when kids are playing sports,” said NATA President, Tory Lindley, MA, ATC.

“These webinars will provide thoughtful and timely information to parents, coaches and young participants involved in athletic activities at all levels during a very confusing time, and we are proud to take part in these important discussions,” said AMSSM President Tracy Ray, MD, FAMSSM.

 “We know children benefit from sports in ways that go above and beyond fitness, and it’s important to make sure these activities are done safely,” said AAP President Sara Goza, MD, FAAP. “Parents will need to ask questions, based on their child’s sport of choice, that take into account safety measures, such as physical distancing, whether equipment is shared and if activities are outdoors or indoors. These are just a few of the questions that the experts are addressing to help families make the right decisions for themselves.”

The 3-day, one hour virtual series will feature panel discussions with medical professionals, including pediatricians, sports medicine physicians and athletic trainers addressing commonly asked questions by parents, caregivers and athletes. The series will be moderated by Founder and Publisher of MVP Parent Magazine, Rich Dubin. Parents and caregivers can find out more and register to join. Space is limited.

Session One: Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Sports Participation During the Pandemic  

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 7-8 p.m. CST 

During this session, experts will explain the risks and benefits of playing sports during COVID-19, including the physical, mental and psychosocial effects. Experts will help parents make an informed decision about sports participation by understanding the various factors that make a sport or activity more or less risky, and outline the variables that effect the spectrum of risk in sports during this time.

Session Two: Safety Precautions for You and Your Team 

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 7-8 p.m. CST 

During this session, experts will describe safety precautions that families and athletes should take prior to participation and before, during and after a practice or game. Additionally, they will describe health and safety requirements that parents should expect from their child’s team.

Session Three: Navigating Sports During COVID-19 for Elite Athletes

Date: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7-8 p.m. CST 

This session will provide an opportunity for engagement and discussion for parents of elite athletes who are progressing towards playing sports at collegiate levels and beyond. Experts will discuss topics that are unique to this population, provide information from trusted sources so that parents and youth athletes can make informed decisions about participation during this time.

About American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For frequent updates on AAP recommendations, Pediatrics studies, AAP in the news, public awareness campaigns, information for parents and more, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AmerAcadPeds. More information on children returning safely to sports is available at HealthyChildren.org.

About AMSSM
AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of more than 4,200 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, high school, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic and Paralympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. www.amssm.org

About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association – Health Care for Life & Sport
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 45,000 members of the athletic training profession.  Visit nata.org for more information.

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