Proper Hygiene Promotes Health and Safety

Type of Skin Infections and Diseases

School athletic facilities pose a special risk for spreading infectious disease because of the potential skin-to-skin and surface-to-skin contact among students and athletes.

  • 2019 national athletic training monthAthlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedia)
  • Impetigo
  • MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • Ring Worm (Tinea Corporis)
  • Herpes Simplex (Herpes Simplex)
  • 80% of communicable disease is transferred by touch, skin-to-skin or skin-to-surface
  • 10% of lost time in sports is due to skin infections
  • The average adult produces 6 liters of perspiration per day
  • The contents of perspiration (salt, grease and dead skin) plus additional bacteria, viruses, and infection-causing organisms live on your skin and clothing throughout the day
  • Poor hygiene and cleanliness can predispose you to other serious illnesses such as influenza, strep and staph infections

Personal Hygiene

What to do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water on a regular basis to avoid spreading of germs, bacteria and illnesses
  • Cover mouth and nose when sneezing/coughing, wash your hands after
  • Do not share toiletries, athletic equipment, water bottles
  • Shower with soap and water immediately after athletic activity and dry yourself completely
  • Clean and cover open wounds/skin conditions before and after activity

The Benefits of Good Personal Hygiene:

  • Promotes a positive and healthy self-image
  • Elevated personal health and immune system
  • Prevents the spread of bacteria and virus
  • Less visits to the doctor/dentist could mean lower health care costs

Clothes and Equipment Cleanliness

What to do

  • Wash daily soiled gear, including practice gear, undergarments, outerwear and uniforms
  • Wipe down frequently touched surfaces with EPA-registered cleaners
  • Wear a layer of clothing between your body and sports equipment – preferably fast-drying or self-wicking material
  • Remove all sports equipment from sports bags daily and hang to dry
  • Spray down helmets, pads and gloves with a disinfecting spray after each practice/game to minimize risk of infection and illness

Proper care of your sports equipment will:

  • Get rid of bacteria and prevent infection
  • Reduce the STINK
  • Help your gear last longer!

Removing Blood From Sports Gear

What to do:

  • Flush the newly stained area with cold water (hot water will set the stain), work laundry detergent using your fingers or a small brush –let the garment sit for 15 minutes, wash as recommended
  • If the stain remains after this step, DO NOT dry – soak the garment in cool water and an oxygen-based bleach for at least 2 hours, re-wash

As March is National Athletic Training Month (NATM), Athletico Physical Therapy is using the observance as an opportunity to educate parents, coaches and athletes about the importance of practicing proper equipment and personal hygiene in youth sports. As accredited and certified professionals with a presence at youth to professional sports, athletic trainers can help make sure young athletes practice appropriate hygiene to avoid serious skin infections and diseases.

More about Athletic Training Outreach Services

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