Return to Play: What parents should know before their kids play sports again
Jack Bryant has watched his daughters practice their volleyball skills on a makeshift outdoor court in Bay Shore for months. Now, he's ready to put them back on their club team.
But the return won't be the same for anyone, whether it be due to small group practices, distancing in dugouts or constant cleaning of equipment. Parents say making the move will require a leap of faith.
"I'd like to know who is overseeing all this … is there a certified athletic trainer, is there physician involved?" says Rick Wolff.
Wolff is an expert on youth sports and sports parenting. He says mom and dad should be optimistic about returning their kids to the field - but cautious too.
"In the long run the parents have to decide for their own son or daughter, is this a good risk?" says Wolff.
Some teams are so worried that they're making parents and players sign COVID-19 waivers, saying teams and leagues are not liable if a child gets the virus. And while studies show kids are not very susceptible to the virus, there is another risk.
"We don't know how aggressively kids can pass the infection. That data is not available," says Stony Brook Children's Hospital Dr. Sharon Nachman. "And then we have to be concerned about if they are bringing it home. The risk is not even limited to the child. It goes to the parents and the grandparents they are going to see."
"We just don't know, we don't know enough about this disease," says Wolff. "If you want to play it safe, you wait for a vaccine to be approved, but that is likely going to take a few more months."