Artificial Turf Up Close

School is officially out! Let the summer practice season commence. Football teams kick things into high gear over the summer, and most high school football programs run weeks of two-a-day practices where kids spend the majority of their day on the football field. With more and more high schools choosing to install synthetic turf, that means twice the opportunity for contracting MRSA from the turf or teammates. Not only is MRSA education a necessity, but so is using synthetic turf maintenance equipment like the GreenZapr to zap away harmful bacteria lurking on synthetic turf after two-a-day practice is over.

Football Practice and MRSA

Artificial turf does not cause MRSA outbreaks. The lack of synthetic turf maintenance practices and education about the prevention of MRSA among athletes has to lead to the upswing in recent MRSA outbreaks at high schools across the country. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has strictly outlined what causes MRSA and has helpfully labeled the causes as the five c’s so they can be easily remembered.

The Five C’s That Spread MRSA

  1. Crowding
  2. Frequent Skin to Skin Contact
  3. Compromised Skin (cuts, scrapes, small abrasions)
  4. Contaminated Items (sweaty towels, clothes, mats, synthetic turf)
  5. Cleanliness

As you can see, two-a-day practices double the chances of any of the above factors becoming an issue. It only takes one of the five c’s to transmit MRSA, and football practice is rampant with all five. Even the smallest turf burn can be the perfect opening to let MRSA in. Educating football players on the importance of cleanliness and covering cuts and scrapes is imperative to MRSA prevention. Read more about MRSA and football in some of our past blog posts:

 What is In-Field Safety? Protection From MRSA and Staph Infections

Texas Leads the Nation in Synthetic Turf Football Fields

The Consequences of a “No Maintenance” Mindset For Synthetic Turf Fields

Education isn’t the only thing imperative in preventing MRSA. It is also important that synthetic turf maintenance equipment is used to rid synthetic turf of any lingering bacteria, microorganisms, and germs left over after practice is done.

Bacteria, Microorganisms, and Germs on Synthetic Turf

Bacteria, microorganisms, and germs can stay alive on surfaces for days. Generally, they like warm, humid climates. Two-a-day practices create the perfect hot and sticky atmosphere for bacteria to grow and breed. Also, synthetic turf gets warm very quickly. Artificial turf is usually warmer than the air, so the turf is going to be pretty hot on a 90-degree day. This too increases the odds of bacteria growing and reproducing.  Using synthetic turf maintenance equipment to rid the field of unseen bacteria is the right thing to do when it comes to athlete safety. Synthetic turf maintenance equipment is quick and easy to use, so there is really no excuse for turf managers not addressing the risk of MRSA for athletes playing on artificial turf.

Synthetic Turf Maintenance Equipment: GreenZapr

Football Practice and MRSA

The GreenZapr by GreensGroomer Worldwide is the perfect piece of synthetic turf maintenance equipment when it comes to working on large sections of outdoor turf. This innovative product can sterilize surfaces safely and quickly with its germicidal ultraviolet (UVC) lights. Harmful microorganisms are destroyed instantly when exposed to UVC lights. Built to destroy MRSA and Staph, the GreenZapr is a new benchmark for in-field safety. More information on the GreenZapr is available in our previous blog posts:

Oregon State University is a Leader in Turf Innovation

American Ultraviolet and GreensGroomer Worldwide Work Together to Create the GreenZapr and MiniZapr

If you are looking for the best synthetic turf maintenance equipment or have questions about the spread of MRSA or MRSA prevention, call Sports Turf NW today. We are happy to help everyone have a safe and MRSA free life.

Photo 2: By Torsten Bolten, AFpix.de (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons