The following statement has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control. The Fairfield County Football League encourages each parent of a child participating in football or any other youth sport to read this statement and to monitor this risk carefully.
Team Sports and Staph – Hygiene Is the Best Defense
In the last several years, our community has experienced an increase in the number of staph infections that are resistant to the usual antibiotics used to treat skin and soft tissue infections. These infections are caused by antibiotic resistant staph.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus) traditionally was a germ associated with hospitals. However, it is now appearing in the community and is often called "community acquired MRSA". Across the nation, there have been clusters of staph infections associated with members of sports teams. This bacterium appears to be causing skin infections, especially skin abscesses (like pimples and boils).
Spread of MRSA among members of a sports team appears to be facilitated by close skin-to-skin contact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests these measures for preventing MRSA infection among members of sports teams. These include:
Adequately covering wounds and considering exclusions of players with wounds that cannot be adequately covered until wound healing has occurred.
Wash all equipment (pants, rib guards and jerseys) after each practice and game.
Practicing and encouraging good hygiene, including showering with soap and hot water after all practices and competitions.
Avoid sharing towels and personal items
Ensure all shared equipment is routinely cleaned with an antimicrobial cleaning solution or soap.
Routinely clean with an antimicrobial cleaning solution or soap all equipment that comes into contact with skin, such as shin guards.
Try to avoid sharing equipment that comes into contact with skin, such as shin guards and gloves.
Practice proper first aid of skin wounds and monitoring for wound infections.
Encourage players to report all skin lesions to the team trainer or coach.
Seek immediate medical attention for any serious infected wound.
If you have any further questions about MRSA infections in your family or sports team, contact your family physician immediately.