Given the apparent rise in the number of outbreaks in the nation's schools of communicable skin conditions, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus ("MRSA"), and with the 2014-2015 wrestling season beginning, parents, coaches and wrestlers need to remember the relatively simple steps that can be taken to avoid the spread of such diseases.
Twice in the past five years, the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) has issued recommendations listing steps that every wrestling program should take to stop the spread of MRSA and other staph infections.
Among the suggested practices coaches and athletes should take, advises the NFHS, are the following:
- Disinfecting all wrestling mats on a daily basis
Immediate showering and washing of clothes and towels after practice
Use of antibacterial or deodorant soap when showering
- Use of detergent with bleach or drying clothes on "high" setting
Use of clean practice and match wear, which should be separated from dirty clothing when taken to and from school;
- Consistent trimming of fingernails; and
Daily disinfecting of all gear including head gear, shoes and neoprene sleeves.