Returning to SPORTS After a Child or Adolescent Recovers from COVID-19

Jan 29, 2021, 15:57 PM by Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Administration


- AAP Guidelines and New Safety Checklist, December 4, 2020

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a new safety checklist and a return to sports guideline when a young athlete tests positive for COVID-19.  Guidelines are found at  If a young athlete becomes infected with COVID-19, there should be no less than a 10-day waiting period with no sports activities or competitions.  A gradual 7-day minimum return-to-play protocol should follow once an athlete is asymptomatic and cleared by their primary care pediatrician.

Youth who want to return to physical activities and sports will need to be screened by their primary care pediatrician for heart symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or fainting. An abnormal screening evaluation requires referral to a pediatric cardiologist for an EKG or possibly additional cardiac tests. Children or adolescents diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), or severe COVID-19 infection should refrain from exercise or competitive activities for three to six months and should be cleared by the pediatric cardiologist before resuming physical activity.

 UTMB Health Pediatrics Division of Cardiology provides clinical services to children and youth from birth through 21 years of age. The pediatric cardiologists provide most of the necessary cardiac testing in an outpatient setting (EKG, Echo, cardiac monitors, and stress testing, to name a few.) Appointments are available at Clear Lake Campus Clinics and the Pediatric Specialty Care Clinic, Island East in Galveston.

 A parent or guardian should contact their pediatric primary care provider for a referral.

Reviewed & edited by
Dr. C. Joan Richardson, 
Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Written by
Tayna Vazquez,
Administrative Specialist & Outreach
Department of Pediatrics

Published 1/11/2021


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.) Youth Sports Participation During COVID-19: A Safety Checklist. Updated, December 4, 2020. Accessed January 6, 2021.

UTMB Health Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology.

Also see:
UTMB Health Primary Care Pediatrics
AAP Schedule of Well-Child Care Visits & Benefits
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