Warning: This sport increases the risk of infectious disease
If your child is a wrestler, he or she is at higher risk of contracting an infectious disease.
That’s according to a recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding infectious diseases associated with organized sports. The close skin-to-skin contact during the sport can expose participants to serious infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), herpes, rashes such as ringworm, as well as outbreaks of measles and mumps.
“I have seen many examples of skin infections being passed throughout a team, mostly due to poor hygiene. Most of the rashes and infections wrestlers get can affect the ability to participate for the athlete and their teammates.”
Dr. Lessman suggests athletes take the following steps to lessen their chance of becoming infected:
- Practice good handwashing at all times
- After matches, shower with an antibacterial soap
- Launder uniforms and practice clothes daily
- Don’t share practice equipment, water glasses, soap, mouth pieces or towels
- Routinely screen your body to check for rashes or other infections
- Make sure your athletic facilities are properly cleaned and maintained
- If you do have a rash or infection, see a physician
“While the skin-to-skin contact in wrestling makes these issues more prevalent, athletes in all organized sports need to be aware of these same precautions,” says Dr. Lessman. “Athletes need to be mindful that contracting an infectious disease is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!