With roots in Native American culture, lacrosse was believed to be played as an effort to keep men in shape in times of war or battle. It’s also one of the oldest team played sports in North America. More recently, within the last decade or so, the participation rate has skyrocketed by 41% and a large portion of this increase occurs at the youth level. Although most lacrosse fans believe that lacrosse is no more violent than any other sport, head and facial injuries from being hit by balls and sticks is extremely common. Also common are sprained ankles and shoulder and back injuries.
Whether you play lacrosse professionally or recreationally, you need to be protected since the very nature of the sport lends itself to injury. Appropriate lacrosse safety gear varies by position and gender, but includes helmets with face guards, shoulder pads, elbow pads and rib pads, shin guards, cup and cup holder as well as a goalie stick for the goalie. Yet despite these safety measures, an average lacrosse player will suffer some form of injury during their career.
With all the cuts and wounds out there, there is plenty of blood and sweat on the field and this puts other people at risk for contracting infectious illnesses. This comes as bad news for lacrosse players but good news for infectious illnesses like the Herpes simplex virus, Staph and MRSA. Not keeping yourself safe and protected from viruses and germs like these is bad for your health and your love of lacrosse. Even the smallest opening in the skin, cut, abrasion or lesion can serve as a perfect portal of entry for a difficult to treat infection like MRSA or Staph.
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recommends that lacrosse players, athletes, doctors and health care professionals take precautions in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
The following are some suggestions to help stop the spread of infectious illnesses and diseases in lacrosse: