ANN ARBOR — A poll conducted by the University of Michigan found that 25 percent of parents in the U.S. say their children or teens participated in fall and winter sports.
While most of the parents ranked their child’s sports organization highly for communicating safety protocols, one in four rated their child’s team or league’s enforcement of health and safety precautions as “fair” or “poor.”
During the pandemic, temperature checks and masks have been required, along with few in-person spectators.
Sarah Clark, the poll’s co-director, said that safety in sports is crucial for keeping the community safe.
“As kids return to playing sports, it’s critical that teams and facilities enforce COVID guidelines to keep players, coaches and families as safe as possible and to reduce community spread,” she said. “This is especially important as we have seen recent COVID-19 outbreaks among youth sports teams. While most families seem confident in their local organization’s safety measures, our report suggests that ensuring compliance with COVID-19 protocols has also been challenging.”
Despite the state not enforcing any new restrictions with the cases spiking, Governor Whitmer and the state Health Department have requested residents to voluntarily follow some COVID-19 restrictions, such as suspending sports.
The report represents a national sample of parents and comes at a time when health experts are suggesting that organized sports may be driving COVID-19 cases in children.
Michigan has been experiencing the worst surge in COVID cases in the country and cases among children have also increased at an alarming rate.