Many families and providers are wondering what precautions to take before sending kids back to sports after a COVID-19 infection. Using guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Heart Association (AHA), cardiologists at Seattle Children’s created the proposed protocol to guide PCPs in safely returning kids to sports after infection. It was presented in our July CME, “Return to Sports After COVID-19, Plus Updates on Post-Vaccine Perimyocarditis,” along with information about COVID’s impact on heart function and information about why the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of post-vaccine myopericarditis.

The protocol shows that the overwhelming majority of children who had a COVID-19 infection will be able to safely and easily resume full activity, play and competition. In patients with severe COVID-19 or MIS-C — or those with symptoms during sports — following myocarditis guidelines likely will lessen the risk of cardiovascular complications, including sudden cardiac death.

The long-term adverse health effects of COVID-19 in some children are well recognized. In the United States, there were about 4,000 case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) as of July 2021 (more than 40 cases at Seattle Children’s). While we have become better at identifying and treating MIS-C, long-term risks are still being elucidated.

Watch the full CME presentation and view the slides.