Safety and NAB AFL Auskick

The NAB AFL Auskick program is for both boys and girls. There is no tackling, the rules are modified and there is an inclusive atmosphere. That said, a common concern of coaches is whether a child’s medical or physical conditions make NAB AFL Auskick activities unsafe.

What safety concerns might you face on the footy field?

Sometimes a medical or physical condition will increase the risk of injury of harm of some physical activities. For example, it is not safe for kids with neck instability to play contact sport. The About Me Medical Summary can be used by a doctor to outline any activities that need to be avoided.

Some kids with developmental delays or difficulties may have reduced safety awareness. For example, kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be impulsive, jumping into tasks and activities before thinking about the consequences. They may not see the potential dangers of their actions (e.g., climbing, jumping, tackling), which can place both them and other kids at increased risk of getting hurt. It is important to set clear rules, and to intervene early if there are any behaviours of concern.

Sometimes when a child feels overwhelmed, worried, or stressed, they might run away. Kids with developmental disorders like autism spectrum disorder, and kids who are anxious, may run away if they feel overwhelmed.

Quick tips to help include kids with safety concerns

  • Use the About Me Medical Summary: Parents can complete the parent parts of the About Me Medical Summary and then get the child’s doctor to complete the doctor part. Coaches can then use this document to know whether there are any specific safety concerns and what activities need to be avoided or adapted so the child can play safely.
  • Set clear rules: The rules of NAB AFL Auskick should be covered in the first session of the season, with an emphasis on safe behaviour. It can help to use pictures as well as words to explain the rules. Keep the rules in a place that is clearly visible to the children. Review the rules regularly.
  • If unsure, ask the parent: If you are unsure whether a child’s medical condition impacts safety to play, ask the parents. With parent consent, you may be able to contact the child’s doctor if you have questions or concerns that the parent can’t answer.
  • Make the venue safe: Kids with ASD might sometimes run away. A safe venue with fences and closed gates may help both parents and kids feel at ease.

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