Return to Play After COVID-19

Mar 15

Allegro Pediatrics

Return to Play After COVID-19

by Allegro Pediatrics

Local high school sports are resuming, and you may be wondering what a COVID diagnosis means for your teen athlete. There is still much unknown about COVID, but we do know that rarely this virus can trigger an immune system to overreact and cause significant internal inflammation. This can impact your child’s heart in a way that requires more evaluation than usual for a pediatrician to ensure your adolescent is safe for intense physical activity.  

If your teen tests positive for COVID-19, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you schedule a follow-up exam with your primary care pediatrician after their period of isolation ends (10 days have passed from date of the positive test result and a minimum of 24-hours symptom free, off fever reducing medications) to discuss next steps.

  • If your child had a mild or asymptomatic case, their doctor will ask screening questions and complete an examination to clear them to return to intense exercise. 
  • If your child had a moderate case (4+ days of fever (>100.4F), 1+ week of muscle aches, chills, lethargy), your child will also be referred for a screening EKG to ensure their heart was not inflamed in a way that could affect their safety during intense exercise.
  • If your child was hospitalized, a cardiologist will determine when your teen is safe to return to exercise.

This information is also outlined in our Return to Play Flowchart.

After your child is cleared to participate, they should follow the guidance below on gradual return to play.