Sports moms and parents are constantly looking for the best safety gear when it comes to helmets, padding, mouth guards, and more for their young athletes. Every summer, my mom used to pull out all the safety gear and double check that my siblings and I had all the sports safety equipment we needed for summer practice and the coming fall sports season. This tradition is still true today. As parents carry on the summer worrying about their kids’ padding, helmets, and mouth guards I also encourage them to consider sports safety in a new way.
What about the risks of contracting MRSA and Staph through sports?
The fact of the matter is that synthetic turf, wrestling mats, gym equipment, and indoor soccer arenas all pose a higher risk for MRSA and Staph than most parents are aware of. Contracting MRSA or a Staph infection is more serious than a broken bone; because it can be deadly if it goes untreated, and can easily spread from one player to another. This year I encourage parents to talk to athletic directors, coaches, and high school staff to take sports safety seriously and do something about the risks that synthetic turf and other sports surfaces pose.
Why Should Certain Surfaces Concern a Parent?
Synthetic turf and other sports surfaces are high-risk, because the easiest ways to transmit MRSA and Staph are through skin to skin contact (which happens in almost every sport), and contact with bodily fluids that come from minor abrasions, turf burns, cuts, blood, and other injuries, big or minute (unavoidable on turf and wrestling mats). Even the everyday occurrence of a mouth guard falling out can cause problems. Do you really want your child to put a bodily fluid coated mouthpiece back into their mouth? A mouth guard falling out also adds to the other bodily fluids already on the field and furthers the risk of spreading even more bacteria around to other athletes.
For further reading on MRSA and school and MRSA and sports, read some of our previous posts:
Sports Safety Solutions For Schools
Sports Turf NW began because of a personal encounter with a young athlete contracting a Staph infection from playing sports. After a long and painful ordeal to treat the child, the father (and one of Sports Turf NW’s owners, Craig Prunty) began to fervently search for a good solution to a problem that seemed to be below everyone’s radar. Sports Turf NW is founded on the basis of education and prevention of MRSA and Staph in high school and college sports.
As Craig found out, there are options available to prevent the risk of MRSA and Staph in young athletes. Even better, there are solutions that don’t involve toxic chemicals which can leave harmful residue behind that can leach into the skin. The safest solution is in simple, yet state of the art ultraviolet technology, also called UVC. UVC light penetrates microorganisms that cause Staph and MRSA and eliminates there ability to reproduce and spread. Read exactly how UVC works in our post, UVC, What Is It?. There are two products from Sports Turf NW that can effectively solve a school’s risk of MRSA and Staph.
For outdoor synthetic turf, we recommend the GreenZapr. It can easily be towed by a golf cart or truck and kills bacteria throughout synthetic turf. The GreenZapr takes care of bodily fluids that are left on the field and renders the microorganisms within harmless.
MiniZapr is the latest product from GreensGroomer Worldwide which provides the same bacteria-killing power as the GreenZapr, but for smaller, more intimate spaces like locker rooms, wrestling mats, and even indoor soccer arenas. With a simple electric wall plug, the MiniZapr is as easy to use as a vacuum and quickly takes care of the risk for MRSA and Staph almost anywhere.
Sports Turf Northwest can provide all the information you need as well as sports safety consultations for school and sports facilities on how to use UVC equipment like the GreenZapr and MiniZapr. Call us today to find out more.