Athletes, athletic personnel, and parents can help minimize MRSA infections within the athletic setting by following these simple health and hygiene practices.



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    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using any sports facilities.
    • Avoid sharing personal items (such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or uniforms) that may have had contact with and infected individual or potentially infectious material.
    • Athletes involved in close contact sports should receive a body check of the exposed skin by the appropriate athletic personnel before any game, match or tournament.
    • Individuals with an infection involving pus drainage, who are involved in close contact sports, should be excluded from participation in sporting events and practices until no pus drainage is present and the infected site can be adequately covered with a bandage and clothing.
    • Report any suspicious skin sore or boil to your healthcare provider, trainer or school nurse immediately.  All draining wounds must be covered with clean, dry bandages during practices and games.  If the draining cannot be contained, the player should be excused from activities.
    • If you participate in sports involving close personal contact (e.g. wrestling and football) shower with soap as soon as possible after each practice, game, or match.
    • Any cut or break in the skin should be washed with soap and water and a clean, dry dressing applied on a daily basis, before and after participation in close contact sports, and after using any sports facilities.
    • Do not allow sharing of any equipment, uniforms, or towels.  Assign equipment and uniforms to one individual for the whole season.  Wash uniforms and towels after each use with detergent in hot water.
    • Non-washable gear such as pads or head protectors should be wiped down with alcohol after each use.
    • Athletic equipment such as weight benches, wrestling or gymnastics mats, or other equipment that might have skin contact should be disinfected regularly after each practice and in-between uses.  Wipe with an antibacterial solution with an EPA-registered cleaner. Clean BOTH SIDES of mats before rolling them up for storage.
    • Tell your healthcare provider (e.g. primary care doctor or school nurse) and the appropriate athletic personnel if you currently have or have had a history of an antibiotic-resistant Staph skin infection(s).

    Remember:  Routine cleaning is all that is recommended.  Because the bacteria live on the skin, they may be reintroduced into any environment at any time.  Therefore, hand washing and wound care remain the primary means of preventing staph infections.