Back to School: Sports & Athletic Hygiene
With the final weeks of summer vacation drawing to a close, the school season is quickly approaching. Not only that, school athletic programs will be ramping up even sooner which means proper cleaning before training begins. As student-athletes begin to take the fields and locker rooms again, we here at Theochem Labs have composed a list of some of the most important practices such as having a legitimate sports hygiene program in place as well as our top product recommendations to help you achieve this. Please read below to familiarize yourself with these to ensure your school is ready to get in the game!
Maintaining Sports Equipment: Consistently staying on top of cleaning your sports equipment is critical in preventing spreading germs and possible infections amongst your athletes. Infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Coronavirus (COVID-19) can spread easily in locker rooms settings due to shared equipment between players as well as exposure from skin-to-skin contact. Any equipment being shared should always be properly cleaned after it is used each time as well as given an opportunity to dry completely. Equipment that is beyond repair and that doesn’t allow for proper cleaning should be disposed of to prevent the spread of future infections.
Use The Best Products: It’ll take more than traditional soap and warm water to properly maintain your athletic facilities. Specialized disinfectants that are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered are going to be your preferred method of cleaning in this arena. With sports and athletic hygiene in mind, you’d like to utilize cleaners and disinfectants that specifically list that they combat Staphylococcus aureus (staph) in order to prevent the spread of MRSA, which is commonly known as “the locker room disease”. Each of the products we recommend such as In-Cide, Lemon APD, Nutra-Max, and Virobac have been proven to be highly effective in these instances.
Proper Sanitizing & Disinfecting: When focusing on proper disinfecting and sanitizing, you need to keep in mind areas that have a high rate of contact and surfaces that come into daily contact with athlete’s bare skin. Once you’ve identified these areas, use only products that have been EPA-registered and are effective against staph as mentioned above. Ensuring both of these criteria are met is your best shot at preventing the spread of MRSA and other infections. From there, follow the instructions carefully to determine if the area should be cleaned prior to disinfecting, if water needs to be mixed with the product, and if water needs to be used on the surface after the disinfectant/cleaner has been used. Lastly, some cleaners that possess household chlorine bleach have been known to irritate skin and eyes so please take the necessary precautions before carefully considering these products as part of your hygiene program.
Set Up a Proper Schedule: When cleaning your facilities, following a strict routine will keep you in the clear of MRSA, COVID-19, or any other lingering infections that may be invisible to the naked eye. Routine cleaning is highly recommended and should either be performed by a professional cleaning service or by dedicated professionals within the school’s staff. Since school locker rooms and facilities are being used constantly throughout the day for physical education classes as well as morning & nighttime sports practice, creating a schedule to coincide with this activity is an imperative part of your sports hygiene program.
Now that we’ve shared the proper structure of what a healthy hygiene program looks like, we can further delve into the final point of using only the best products for your athletes. Ensuring that you are using only the highest-performing disinfectants will ensure an overall healthy environment for your student-athletes and coaching staff. Please see below for our four EPA-registered product recommendations that’ll keep your athletic facilities clean and safe all school year long!
In-Cide: Starting off with our top recommendation, In-Cide ready-to-use disinfectant and odor control works excellent in a number of settings and boasts an array of kill claims such as staph, MRSA, COVID-19, the HIV-1 (AIDS) virus, and more! In-Cide is the perfect product to use in humid and odor-filled settings such as locker rooms to help prevent the outbreak of numerous infectious diseases while leaving behind a pleasant aromatic fragrance.
Nutra Max: This neutral, one-step disinfectant works well in a number of settings and acts as a powerful germicidal cleaner. Nutra-Max also works wonderfully as a fresh-fragranced deodorant designed for general cleaning of any hard non-porous surface and is effective at killing a host of viruses such as staph, MRSA, COVID-19, and more!
Lemon APD: Our economically formulated Lemon APD works amazingly well as an all-purpose disinfectant, sanitizer, fungicide, and virucide. As you can guess, Lemon APD leaves behind a pleasant lemon fragrance while destroying harmful bacteria that can lead to potential viruses.
Virobac: Lastly, our Virobac disinfectant is formulated to disinfect hard, non-porous environmental surfaces such as walls, sink tops, tables, and glazed ceramic tiles in bathrooms and more!
As you can now see, having a proper sports hygiene plan in play is crucial to the overall success of any athletics program. Protecting your locker rooms, weight rooms, and sports facilities from invisible threats such as MRSA will only ensure the safety and success of your school’s athletics program. With just a few short weeks away before the first whistles begin to blow and the first plays are called, will your school be ready to get in the game or will you have to call an early timeout before play resumes?