Our 7 yr old skates at a local indoor rink where we have loved the weekly games and practices and the whole-family atmosphere. It is sort of a joke—that the parents should be comfortable (i.e. note the beer)– but the more important thing we’ve learned about our commitment to kids’ sports is making sure to be as chemical-free as possible…. Things like avoiding pesticides, thorough hand washing, drinking from stainless steel water bottles, healthy snacks….these ideas all play into our families commitment to our kids sports.
When our daughter joined soccer we were really concerned about the use of pesticides on the fields she was playing on. During some team meetings we discussed the ideas that could minimize pesticide ingestion. The most effective actions were hand washing (use water bottles right before the end- of- game snack and then thorough washing at home ) and removing cleats before getting into the car and the house. Also, if the players have open scrapes or cuts, make sure they are well covered before playing. There are teams who have successfully eliminated pesticides from their playing fields altogether, and had Riley stayed on the team after that first season that would have been our priority to make sure that happened. Another thing to consider, turf fields may even be worse, as they are made out of old tires (Hazmat) and the dust and particles are constantly being released into the air as the kids play.
For some really thorough coverage of this topic check out the following websites: