Indoor soccer, lacrosse, and other indoor sports have experienced rapid popularity growth over the last 20 years. Indoor soccer arenas and sports facilities have become a vital part of an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle that includes adults as well as children. Does your family play indoor soccer? If so, how many times per week are you at the indoor soccer arena for games and practice? Participating in one game or practice per week is all that it takes. Potentially life-threatening bacteria could be lurking in the synthetic turf, where are the bodily fluids going?
Dangers of Physical Sports At Indoor Soccer Arenas
The physical nature of sports makes bodily contact and exposure to others’ bodily fluids common. Small abrasions, like turf, burns open doors for dangerous bacterias that cause MRSA and Staph to enter your body. MRSA and Staph are unpredictable because they are continually growing resistance to antibiotics and in rare cases can become fatal if not treated. Indoor sports facilities need to be proactive in keeping kids and athletes safe from MRSA, Staph, and even HIV.
Sports Turf Northwest utilizes the latest research and technology to help rid sports surfaces of these potential risks from bacteria. We feel it is part of our social responsibility to educate facilities managers, mothers, and athletic directors about the potential health issues they are exposing their kids and athletes too. The fact that MRSA and Staph infections are not a topic of regular conversation around indoor soccer arenas is concerning. Whether or not a particular facility is interested in investing money in bacteria eliminating equipment like the 860 MiniZapr or 850 GreenZapr, we will shed light on a persistent problem that is continually ignored.
Recent Encounter With A Indoor Soccer Arena
I made contact with a local indoor sports facility in Portland Oregon. The goal was to educate the facility about the harmful bacteria they are exposing their members to on their indoor soccer turf. The outline for the topic was the health problem they were potentially facing. I provided literature including studies and statistics regarding the risk for infections like MRSA, Staph, and HIV. A solution was also presented to which I received the following response.
Much as XXXX mentioned, we do not believe our field is a health risk. We do take health and safety issues seriously and will therefore keep your information on hand should we need more information about your product in the future.
That Answer Was Not Acceptable In My Opinion
It’s not what you see but what you don’t see. Just because you visually inspect the playing area, see no debris, does not mean that you are a “clean” sports facility. It should be a requirement at all facilities that any cut or wound on a person must be protected, covered and kept away from the playing surface or you don’t play, period. Anyone who shaves their legs increases the odds dramatically to get Staph. Whenever you put that many people into a closed environment with bodily fluids such as blood, sweat, mucous, fecal matter mixed all together and you have created a toxic petri dish of human waste. One small cut or abrasion on the skin is all it takes. Parents start asking your facility what they are doing to clean the playing surface.
Is It The Cost To Protect Or Ignorance?
These recent interactions lead me to conclude that too many indoor soccer arenas and sports facilities have decided that money, or the potential loss of money, is worth more than the health and safety of the patrons who keep their doors open. Parents and athletes, these indoor facilities across the nation are fully aware of the potentially harmful health risks they are exposing to humans yet they ignore the problem. We must continue to urge athletic directors, facility owners, and managers to begin to look at these health risks and take action to prevent these painful and in the worst cases, potentially fatal infections. Sports Turf Northwest was created because one of the owners had a child who developed a Staph infection, it’s not about spreading fear it is about bringing awareness and a solution to a problem that exists.
For more reading, check out these links to some of our previous posts:
If you need more information regarding the health risks posed by synthetic turf and indoor sports facilities, contact us today. Together, we can make synthetic turf fields and indoor sports facilities fun and safe environments for all.
https://www.facebook.com/WebMD (2005). Understanding MRSA Infection — the Basics. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-mrsa#1 [Accessed 15 Jul. 2019].