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Although many local schools welcomed students back this week, the heat of summer is still with us! It’s important to hydrate your students appropriately as they take on late Summer and Fall sports.

With all the Fall sports already in full swing, it is important to make sure  coaches, school staff, parents and students are utilizing best sports health practices.

  1. All students participating in sports should have a physical exam. Most school districts require this in order to participate in any sports or physical activity with the school.
  2. Parents, make sure you know who will provide medical assistance to your student in the case of emergency. If your school has a sports medicine professional or trainer, make sure that person is calling the shots when it comes to the care of your child.
  3. Is the equipment used in the athletic department in safe and working order. This include field goals, field turf and other training and game equipment. This also includes emergency medical equipment such as spine boards, sprints and automated external defibrillators.
  4. Couches and athletic trainers should have CPR, AED and first aid training and have a plan for dealing with emergencies.
  5. Are locker rooms, gymnasiums and showers cleaned regularly? MRSA and related skin infections are common. It is important to keep these surfaces cleaned and checked regularly. Also, athletes should not share towels, athletic gear, water bottles, etc. Clothing and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  6. Does the athletic department have an AED, as well as someone who knows how to use it? It’s important that athletic personnel know where the AED is located and how it is used. It should be readily accessible within three minutes (preferably one) during practices AND games.

Outside these general recommendations, parents should also evaluate their child’s physical and psychological readiness to patriciate in a sport.  It’s important not to push your student into a sport they do not want to do.

Finally, have a safe and fun Fall season!