Two young girls playing soccer outside.

Sep 01, 2020 / Sports Medicine

Answering Tough Questions for Parents: Sports in the Age of COVID, a Podcast

Sports medicine physician Shane M. Miller, M.D., was invited to provide an expert opinion on a current topic in youth sports. He was interviewed about returning to sports in the context of COVID-19 on the Parenting in the Present Podcast. This podcast is organized in part by his peer, Early Denison, M.D., a pediatrician in Dallas, Texas who says, “On a personal note, I just want to say how much Dr. Miller has been a resource for me, my patients, our practice and my family.” 

Listen now.

Miller references work we have done at Scottish Rite for Children that acknowledges some of the risks of completely removing athletes from play and physical activity. Over the past several months, we found that children who specialize in one sport are at a greater risk of reporting depression and anxiety when they are unable to play their sport. Risks like this must be balanced with the benefits of physical activity. Children are advised to be active daily – whether that is through an organized sport or alternative activities. Other options should be considered when a team sport may not be managed safely in light of the pandemic.

In the podcast, conversation acknowledged the challenges parents face with making decisions to do the right thing for their children. Before COVID-19, decisions were not necessarily easy, but new complexities exist. For example, regional data and regulations, individual health risks, deconditioning and organizational guidelines all influence a decision about each child’s safety in their sport.

Miller closed by encouraging listeners to understand that everyone is in a challenging position right now. He describes that in an effort to make recommendations and decisions that are “best,” we may not all be on the same page. “And that’s O.K.,” he says. “Having patience and compassion with those making decisions right now are crucial in this time of uncertainly.” 

“Thank you so much for your time, your energy, your passion around kids and their best selves.” – Dr. Andy Stoker, podcast host

Learn more and find links to resources mentioned in this article, Is It Safe to Play Sports?

Learn more about our research - Sidelined Due to COVID: Physical and Mental Health Effects on Youth Athletes.

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