We are often approached by athletic directors of all divisions to talk about some of the real challenges that they face with players and synthetic turf protection. Coaches and directors face unique challenges from germs and harmful diseases which can cause lasting harm to their players and themselves. We recently wrote a blog about athlete’s foot prevention in answer to one of those questions we often get about keeping players healthy while in the locker rooms. Today we want to address keeping them safe while on the field. Here are the 4 most commonly overlooked athletic disease risks that could put your athletes at risk.
1. SIDELINES ARE A DISEASE BREEDING GROUND
Most athletic directors would tell you that the artificial turf care falls squarely in the maintenance department’s hands.The problem with that view is that viral and bacterial loads are, on average, five times higher on the sidelines due to blood, spit, and sweat. This creates a major issue for coaches by exposing athletes to germs while sitting on the sidelines and not even playing. Not only is the artificial turf a breeding ground for a host of viruses and infections, but things like benches, cups, gear, towels, and drinking containers can now be deemed as contaminated through even the slightest contact, allowing for the spread of common athletic related diseases with just one sweaty towel.
2. ARTIFICIAL TURF IS OFTEN IMPROPERLY TREATED
Most of the time athletic programs will specifically choose artificial turf because of its easy maintenance and ability to help keep players safe; however, the bigger issue lies in proper maintenance. Athletic programs can forget to factor in the cost of upkeep for the artificial turf. When neglecting this upkeep you expose your coaches, players, and even fans to harmful bacteria that could cause them to become sick. Most athletic directors never invest the needed time and due diligence in research regarding how to properly maintain and clean artificial turf. We found these articles from the Synthetic Turf Council website extremely helpful in understanding proper turf care.
3. MRSA AND STAFF CAN BE PREVENTED USING “THE 5 C’S”
All too often we hear about players getting serious bacterial infections like staphylococcus aureus or MRSA because athletic directors do not understand how easy it is to prevent, if you take the proper measures. In an athletic setting where scrapes and injuries are just part of your every day environment, ruling out injury is not alway a possibility. You can, however, follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to keep you safe from contracting MRSA or Staff. The five C’s that lead to contraction are as follows:
- Frequent skin to skin Contact
- Compromised skin (cuts, abrasions, etc…)
- Contaminated surfaces
- Lack of Cleanliness
Read more about MRSA Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/mrsa/
4. CURRENT SOLUTIONS FOR CLEANING TURF ARE NOT WORKING
When it comes to cleaning your artificial turf, many people want to approach it like most people approach cleaning their home. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Artificial turf requires delicate care to preserve it’s ability to last for years to come. If you treat your turf with improper or harsh chemicals it can cause you to have to replace the turf years before the actual lifespan of the turf has run out. On the other hand, if you do not treat the germs aggressively enough, it can lead to serious health issues amongst your players and coaches alike.
Here at MonoFoil we have developed solution to these issues. Our antimicrobial agent is safe for turf and is labeled by the FDA as a “bactericidal”. This means that it actively kills bacteria to keep your players safe without harming or damaging your beautiful and expensive turf. This is the same technology that is currently being used by countless other athletic departments and businesses all over the United States including, Auburn University, The Indiana Pacers, The Walt Disney Company, MGM Grand, and more.
If you’re interested in seeing the power of MonoFoil in action, check out this short 8 minute video on how we are solving these problems and others for athletic departments across the United States.