Prevent MRSA through Education, Action

With four children in our house, there’s always a sports practice, game or training going on. The back of our vehicles are loaded with bags of uniforms and equipment and I often take an inventory to make sure the clothes, shoes and items in the bags aren’t becoming a biology project. That’s why the information below caught my eye. I admit I have heard of MRSA but didn’t pay much attention, until I realized that we, as parents, need to be just as diligent about this infectious strain of bacteria as much as we are about the common illnesses children are exposed to, especially at school.

There’s a great team of partners dedicated to getting the word out about MRSA, including basketball star Grant Hill, The Clorox Company and Swap Me Sports. They’ve launched Equip Them Well, a program designed to teach families and sports teams about practical MRSA prevention steps.

Rather than interpret the information, especially the scientific parts, I’m including the information sent to me from The Clorox Company about MRSA, Equip Them Well, a great contest and more.

Skin infections like MRSA, which spread through skin to skin contact as well as contact with equipment and shared items, are the cause of 56 percent of all outbreaks of infectious diseases in competitive sports in the U.S.[1],[2] – but simple steps parents can take can help prevent the spread.  MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a potentially life-threatening antibiotic resistant Staph bacteria that has increasingly been found in community and youth sports settings.3

The Stop MRSA Now Coalition in partnership with The Clorox Company and SwapMeSports.com, has teamed up with professional basketball star Grant Hill to launch Equip them Well, a program to help teach families and sports teams about practical MRSA prevention steps, such as washing hands and disinfecting equipment with a bleach solution.  Like so many others who have been affected by the threat of MRSA, Hill understands the importance of prevention, both in the locker room and on the court.

“We need to get more kids in the game with youth sports – but I also know firsthand that MRSA is a tough opponent that many young athletes may face,” said Hill, MRSA survivor and Stop MRSA Now Coalition member.  “That is why I am excited about the Equip Them Well program to inform parents and coaches that we all play a part in MRSA prevention.”

Donate Used Sports Equipment and Score a Chance to Meet Grant Hill
In addition to educating parents about MRSA prevention, the Equip Them Well program is committed to providing the resources necessary for kids from all communities to take part in youth sports. Parents can collect, disinfect and donate used youth sports equipment to communities in need through the Equip Them Well page on StopMRSANow.org.

Each family that visits StopMRSANow.org and enters the sweepstakes will score a chance to win a trip to Phoenix for a Suns game and exclusive “meet-and-greet” with Hill.

Equip Them Well – With Simple Equipment Wellness Steps
MRSA is generally spread by skin to skin contact and by touching surfaces that have come in contact with a person’s infection. The following steps can help prevent the spread in community settings:

  • Scrub  up – Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds or  use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
  • Wipe it  down – Use a  disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard surfaces. (1  tablespoon of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 gallon of water or as directed  on label)
  • Cover your  cuts – Keep any nicks  or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
  • Keep to  yourself – Do not share  personal items, like towels or razors, that come into contact with bare  skin.
  • Use a  barrier – Keep a towel or  clothing between skin and shared equipment.
  • Don’t play  dirty – Wash children’s  athletic clothing after each use, using the warmest wash recommended and  adding bleach when appropriate.

All teams know that sports equipment is often shared among teammates. That makes “equipment wellness” another important part of preventing the spread of MRSA in youth sports settings. It is important to:

  • Regularly clean and  disinfect sports equipment like balls, racket grips and  bats.
  • Pay particular  attention to disinfecting or properly laundering sports equipment that comes  into direct contact with the skin of the players, such as headgear/helmets,  mats, and body armor. [3],  [4]
  • Avoid using tape to  wrap gripping areas of rackets, bar bells, or to repair rips and tears on  other sports equipment. This may provide an environment for germs to thrive  and may interfere with the disinfectant process.

Parents can read and download practical prevention steps online at http://www.stopmrsanow.org <http://www.stopmrsanow.org> .

The Clorox Company sent me information about the Equip them Well program not intended to solicit product claims.  For more information about Clorox, visit http://www.TheCloroxCompany.com <http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/> .

About SwapMeSports.com

SwapMeSports.com is a free community website that allows parents to buy, sell, trade or donate used sports equipment. For more information, visit http://www.swapmesports.com <http://www.swapmesports.com> .

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks, Maria. A link to your post will be in the October 26 issue of Parenting News. This is important information for parents to have. Subscriptions to our weekly e-zine, Parenting News, are free at http://www.WholeHeartedParenting.com.

  2. My daughter has juvenile diabetes and has had MRSA 3 times now. She is allergic to Bactrim and is put on others Anti’s, but it keeps coming back and I am unsure what to do at this point.

  3. […] competitive sports. Check out the steps that you can take to educate about as well as prevent MRSA. CLICK HERE for More 5. Highlights High Five Did you love the Highlights magazine as a child and now can’t wait for […]

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