Spring High School Sports and the Risks of MRSA

Spring sports vary in levels of contact, from full-contact boy’s lacrosse, to sliding and diving of baseball, to non-contact sports like track and field. When high school athletes take the field of play to compete, many are unaware of “invisible” risks that accompany the risk of physical injury. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as MRSA, is transmitted when a skin abrasion isn’t properly cleaned. Items that touch the abrasion are susceptible to spreading the infection. Let’s go through some of the major spring sports and some tips on protecting yourself or your favorite athlete this season.

Lacrosse

Via Wikipedia

Originating from Native American culture as a means to keep men in shape for battle, lacrosse is most physical of all of spring high school sports. While most lacrosse injuries are related to the constant movement of the game (ankle sprain, muscle tear, etc.), head and facial injuries from being hit by balls and sticks is quite common. With the increase of popularity of turf fields for high school, turf burns may also be an open invitation to MRSA. Here are some tips to having a healthy and safe lacrosse season:

Athletes

  • Alert an official or coach as soon as you can after you receive a cut or laceration.
  • Avoid sharing water bottles, towels, or pennies with other players.
  • Shower immediately after games or practices
  • Clean helmets, pads, stick, gloves, and face guards with Clear Gear Sports Spray and allow to dry before reuse.
  • Don’t leave old practice clothes in your gym bag with other clean things.

Parents

  • Wash uniforms, practice clothes, and towels in water that is at least 160 degrees.
  • Remind athlete’s to change bandages and dressing over injuries during the first 24-48 hours.

Coaches

  • Keep first aid kit fully stocked with proper medical products to treat and dress cuts and abrasions.
  • Take all shared equipment, goalie pads, and training equipment and spray it down with Clear Gear Sports Spray following each use.

Baseball/Softball

Via WJLA

 

America’s Pastime is one of the most widely participated spring high school sports. Between baseball and softball, there are over 3 million high school-aged participants in the United States alone. While baseball and softball are considered non-contact sports, there are plenty of opportunities to sustain a cut or abrasion, like sliding into a base, diving for a ball, or colliding with another player. Many MLB teams have begun using Clear Gear Sports Spray on their catcher’s equipment, since sweat and blood have lots of places to hide in masks, chest protectors, and leg protectors. Any fielder, batter, or catcher that sustains an injury that draws blood should be immediately removed from the game until they are medically cleared. Here are some tips for a healthy and safe baseball/softball season:

Players

  • Call for timeout and alert an umpire or coach if you’re been cut and/or are bleeding.
  • Don’t share helmets, gloves, or hats with your teammates.
  • Shower immediately after practices or games.
  • Clean helmets, bats, gloves, hats, and cleats with Clear Gear Sports Spray after each use and allow drying before using.

Parents

  • Deep clean uniforms where blood and baseball clay/dirt have mixed, MRSA can remain on a surface for up to 4 weeks.
  • Remind athlete’s to change bandages and dressing over injuries during the first 24-48 hours.

Coaches

  • Keep first aid kit fully stocked with proper medical products to treat and dress cuts and abrasions.
  • Take all team helmets, catcher’s gear, and training equipment and spray it down with Clear Gear Sports Spray following each use.


Track and Field

Via Sports Unlimited

One of the oldest organized sports, dating back to the Ancient Greeks, Track and Field has a high participate rate in high schools due to the expanded team sizes and different events offered. While track and field events are generally individual events with no physical contact, there are certain events, such as the high jump and the pole vault, where mats catch athletes after their jumps. Trips and falls are quite common as athletes push themselves to their limits in trainings and meets, so cuts and abrasions can occur. Here are some tips to have a healthy and safe track and field season:

Athletes

  • Never share towels or water bottles with your teammates.
  • Seek treatment if you fall and cut yourself during training or in a meet.
  • Athletes whose events use a mat should keep an anti-bacterial soap or wash in their bag to use after heats.
  • Shower immediately after practices, training, or meets.

Parents

  • Wash any training clothes or uniforms in water hotter than 160 degrees.
  • Remind athlete’s to change bandages and dressing over injuries during the first 24-48 hours.

Coaches

  • Keep first aid kit fully stocked with proper medical products to treat and dress cuts and abrasions.
  • Clean all equipment, training gear, mats and pads, and weights with Clear Gear Sports Spray after each use by your team.

 

Practicing some simple precautions throughout the season can be the difference between losing a star player at the end of the season and bringing home a conference, county, or state title! Check out our website for more sport-specific applications for Clear Gear Sports Spray. Have any other suggestions to keeping our high school athletes safe from MRSA during their season? Leave them in the comments and let’s discuss!

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