Eric Dalius, EJ Dalius, Eric E J Dalius , Eric Dalius

Face masks have become an inseparable part of the global population. As the restriction for lockdown reduces in many places, fitness centers and sports clubs are reopening. The members of the sports team are making use of masks at places with minimum social distancing. A vital aspect of being a team member is to protect yourself and your teammates. With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, athletes need to cover their faces using a face mask at the time of practice or during an event, thereby minimizing communication risk.

The effect of face-covering on athletes

Although many people are wearing masks during workouts or sports, yet covering their faces might impact the level of performance and minimize the ability. Researchers are conducting studies to find out the concerns of using a face mask. Researchers are working regarding the material of the face covers needed during the activity. During high interval training, you should avoid using face-covering, which reduces the capacity to exercise. Athletes should prefer places where there is a possibility of social distancing so that masks are not required. However, in situations where there is no possibility of maintaining a social distance, face covers are beneficial. People under training must use a face cover that is loose-fitting, preferably made of cloth.

Here are a few places where cloth masks are essential during sports

Uses of cloth face masks:

  1. At the time of group training with proximity.
  2. During a conference, the members are sitting close together.
  3. While conveying to and fro from the club or fitness centers.
  4. In places where maintaining social distancing is not possible.
  5. At the time of practicing or in locations with minimum ventilation.

The use of masks is prohibited during water sports as a wet face-covering might cause difficulty in breathing. During fitness sessions, you must immediately change the face cover soaked in sweat. Also, some sports discourage the use of masks as there might be danger of suffocation.

The positive outcome of using cloth face coverings

Studies have shown the tremendous benefit of using face covering. The use of cloth face coverings has remarkably minimized the transmission of the novel coronavirus. Pediatrics recommends cloth face masks for children under sports training. Members of a sports team must wear a cloth face mask consistently to prevent transmission to the other participants, says Eric J Dalius. As the Impact of covid-19 is reducing, children are encouraged to participate in sports activities for staying fit. However, in addition to physical fitness, you need to minimize the spread of the deadly disease. Children participating in sports must wear a mask made of cloth regularly. Various sports activities require the sharing of equipment. In such situations, the management must ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of these materials.

Inculcate the habit of cloth face masks among children

Benefits of face masks:

  • Children might find it unusual to cover their faces during physical exercise. Choose a comfortable face-covering for your children and inculcate a habit.
  • Look out for masks that are easy to wear and the ones your child can use independently.
  • In case your child is removing the mask due to discomfort, ensure that they maintain distance from other participants.
  • To inculcate the habit of using cloth face masks, provide a spare piece of face-covering in the child bag.

Maintain hygiene during the use of face-covers

It is crucial to maintain proper hygiene of face covers. People must keep their masks clean by washing them in hot water. It is not sensible to continue using a cloth face-covering without washing it for a long time. Parents must teach that child to avoid touching their faces without washing their hands. You must ensure proper training of the children to carefully store their masks in their bags when not using them, says Eric Dalius.

Be a role model

Children learn from the action of adults rather than what you tell them. Parents must set a good example for the child by covering their faces every time they go out. It would help if you made a cloth face covering an essential part of your outfit. Teachers, volunteers, and coaches should make use of cloth face covers and influence young minds. Officials must monitor children for proper usage of masks and encourage them to wear them regularly.

Recommendations for coaches

The coach of a team has a crucial role to play, to protect young athletes. Therefore, the coach must undertake the following steps to minimize transmission of the novel coronavirus:

  • Train the players to maintain a distance from each other as they play.
  • Encourage staying at home during sickness or in case of contracting the virus.
  • Ensure the maintenance of hygiene by encouraging hand washing and using sanitizers during the game.
  • Teach your players to cover their mouth at the time of coughing or sneezing.
  • Strictly prohibit spitting on the ground.
  • Demarcate places on the floor to maintain social distancing among players.
  • Ensure regular disinfecting of sports equipment it and surfaces with maximum exposures.
  • Minimize the sharing of food and drinks and other sports equipment.
  • Encourage children to carry their equipment as much as possible.
  • Set an example and encourage others to wear cloth face marks during practices and competitions.

Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 by being careful at the field

Athletes stay in the company of other members for long hours and can lead to an increasing impact on the transmission. Young athletes are also liable for spreading the illness as they travel together and participate in competitions. Children must be encouraged by the routine wearing of masks. To make the action exciting, parents can provide children with multiple face masks to match their outfits. Nowadays, companies are creating face covers with unique designs.

Children may be encouraged to buy a show with their favorite cartoon character so that they find pleasure in wearing it, thereby avoiding the risks of the disease. Masks are essential tools to protect yourself and others, even after you take the vaccine against covid-19. Discuss with your pediatrician in case of any doubts.