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.
Washington, DC (Vocus) September 23, 2010
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 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, seven-time NBA all-star Grant 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 Grant 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 Grant 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.
About STOP MRSA NOW
STOP MRSA NOW is a coalition of community members who have experienced first-hand the threat of MRSA and MRSA experts who are committed to working together to reduce the spread of MRSA in community settings and to educate community members on MRSA prevention.
MRSA is a potentially life-threatening antibiotic resistant Staph infection. The MRSA bacteria is carried by up to 5 percent of the population, especially in younger people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005, nearly 19,000 Americans died from MRSA infections. During the same year, there were 134 cases of MRSA in children.
SwapMeSports.com is a free community website that allows parents to buy, sell, trade or donate used sports equipment. The organization facilitates the donation of equipment to organizations, schools and leagues through its community giving program. All donated equipment benefits the many children who would like to participate in sports but cannot afford to. SwapMeSports.com’s sponsorship of Equip Them Well encourages families and teams to collect, disinfect and donate used sports equipment, while educating them on MRSA prevention. For more information, visit http://www.swapmesports.com.
About The Clorox Company
The Clorox Company is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer products, with fiscal year 2010 revenues of $5.53 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products; Pine-Sol® cleaners; Green Works® natural home care products; Brita® water-filtration systems; Burt’s Bees® natural personal care products; Kingsford® charcoal; Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces; Glad® bags, wraps and containers; Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litter; and Armor All® and STP® auto-care products. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $80 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2010 alone, the foundation awarded $3.5 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $8.8 million. For more information about Clorox, visit http://www.TheCloroxCompany.com.
1 Turbeville, S.D., Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Competitive Sports. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2006: 34(11):1860-5.
2 Zinder, S.Z., National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Skin Diseases. Journal of Athletic Training. 2010;45(4):411-428.
5 “Defend Against MRSA,” GoErie.com (PA). July 20, 2008.
6 “Puzzling threat; Tough infection challenges doctors,” Cox News Service. July 29, 2008
7 Klevens, R M, Invasive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in the United States. JAMA. 2007;298(15):1763-1771.