Sports: Back to School Safe, Secure and Healthy Tips for the Locker Room

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Tampa Bucs Treated Facility For MRSA — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. Recently, increasing numbers of cases of outbreaks of MRSA colonization and infection through skin contact in locker rooms and gyms, even among healthy populations, have been reported.

The excitement of the back to school season brings hope of new sports opportunities for athletes. But exuberance can overpower safety and health common sense, resulting in illnesses and injuries that could cause lost time on the playing field, a lost season, or even a lost scholarship.

Sports are all about teamwork. But that doesn’t mean some teammates aren’t up to pranks that could do you harm — just for fun or maliciously. Follow these rules to stay safe and healthy:

1. Keep it clean. You all know to keep your clothes clean, but what about your phone or water bottle. Don’t place your cell phone or water bottle on a bench, and don’t leave them out in the open while you take a shower. You don’t want your cell phone, which you put against your face or on your bed or nightstand at home, to be set on a locker room bench where someone just sat their bare bottom (See #2). You would be surprised how many people do this.

2. Don’t expose your skin. Don’t sit bare naked on a locker room bench, and don’t walk around barefoot in the locker room. Your susceptible to fungus infections, such as jock itch and athlete’s foot. Unprotected, you’re also susceptible to plantar warts. At the extreme, you’re susceptible to MRSA — a potentially fatal bacterial infection. You can get inexpensive footwear that you can wear right into the shower at your local sports store.

3. Don’t fool around in crowded conditions in the locker room because you could get pushed over a locker room bench and dislocate a shoulder, fracture a wrist, accidentally cut yourself, etc. Stay aware in crowded conditions. Other athletes could be angry over a bad play, and could be in the mood to shove people or throw things. Crowding can cause innocent accidents. A 17-year-old elite hockey player was once injured when a teammate still wearing his ice skates accidentally step on his bare left foot. The skate blade cut right through the player’s anterior tibial tendon — a tendon connected to a muscle on the inside ankle that stabilizes the foot and ankle. The tendon and associated muscle are especially important when you’re on your tip toes. The injury required surgery with a technique called acellular tissue graft augmentation. After three years, the athlete was able to play Division 1 hockey.

4. Keep your stuff secure. You would never expect a teammate to steal your stuff, but it can happen. Or an outsider could sneak in the locker while you’re showering or on the court or on the playing field. Lock your locker when you head for the shower — whether you’re at your home team locker room, a visiting locker room, or training at the local health club. Use a lock that can’t be defeated. Check YouTube on techniques to defeat locks. See also how to pick a lock. You don’t need your expensive sports equipment or wallet getting ripped off while you’re taking a shower.

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