West Caldwell High School
Student Athlete Health Advisory
Win the Match against Community-Associated MRSA
Learning about (CA-MRSA) in the Athletic Setting
(MRSA) - (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) - (pronounced mirsa)
CA-MRSA is a type of skin infection caused by Staph bacteria. These infections can become more severe if not treated right away. CA-MRSA is spread by close physical contact with an infected person or by touching things contaminated with Staph. (E.g. towels, sheets, wound dressings, clothes, or sports equipment).
An infected area on the skin usually starts out as a small bump that looks like a pimple or a spider bite that becomes larger, redder, and often develops pus drainage.
At West Caldwell High School, our Athletic Department, coaches, and sports medicine team recommend and follow strict cleaning and disinfecting procedures for our sports equipment and facilities. Our goal is to educate our students and parents about prevention of skin infections and basic hygiene. Our coaching staff and sports medicine team is trained in first-aid for wound management and recognition of wounds that are potentially infected. We encourage all student athletes to report skin lesions to our coaches and athletic trainer. We also encourage our coaches to assess athletes regularly for skin lesions.
HAND WASHING is the single most important behavior in preventing infectious disease. Hands must be clean before you touch your eyes, mouth, nose or any other cuts or scrapes on your skin. Our athletes and coaches will:
· Wash hands regularly
· Use hot water
· Wet hands and wrists
· Use a bar or liquid soap
· Work soap into a lather and wash between fingers, up to wrists, and under fingernails for at least 15 seconds
· Provide and encourage the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash hands immediately if they come in contact with any body fluid on the playing field or at other places where hand-washing facilities are not available
Our WCHS Athletes will NOT Share:
Towels, razors, clothes, uniforms, helmets, hats, padding, gloves, ointments,
antibiotics, daily athletic gear and water bottles
As a WCHS athlete, we expect you to take responsibility for your own personal health and hygiene, as well as the health of your teammates.
If a WCHS student athlete presents with a possible staph or CA-MRSA infection, our coaching staff, athletic trainer, school nurse or team physician will:
- Treat any draining wound as a potential CA-MRSA infection
- Separate the infected athlete from direct physical contact with other participants (This includes practicing or training with shared equipment)
- The athlete with a suspected skin infection must be evaluated by a physician
- Inform the physician of the possibility of CA-MRSA
- Treat uncultured wounds as CA-MRSA
- Maintain confidentiality of all health information related to our student athletes
Warrior Athlete's Responsibility: Protecting Yourself
- As soon as possible, shower and wash with soap after all practices / competitions.
- Dry using a clean, dry towel. At home, wash towels, uniforms, scrimmage shirts, and any other laundry in hot water and ordinary detergent and dry on the hottest cycle. Any laundry sent home, must be transported in a plastic bag.
- Do not share towels, even on the sidelines of the game.
- Wash personal athletic gear at least weekly; clean and disinfect with a commercial disinfectant (E.g. Clorox Disinfecting wipes) or a fresh solution of one part bleach 100 parts water (1 tablespoon bleach in one quart of water).
- Cover all open wounds, even small ones - turf burns, cuts, abrasions, floor burns.
- Immediately report any suspicious skin sores (blisters, cuts, bumps) to your coach, athletic trainer, or school nurse.
- Athletes having sores with pus drainage MUST be excluded from participation. Any suspicious skin lesion will be referred by the coach, athletic trainer, and school nurse or team physician for immediate medical evaluation.
- After proper medical evaluation and/or treatment, athletic trainer will approve the student's return to contact activity and participation in sport.
- Avoid picking, squeezing or scratching scabs, abrasions, bumps or rashes.
- Keep your nail tips less than ¼ inches long and remove all jewelry to avoid scratches.
- Minimize body shaving - it increases risk of infection.
- Immediately wash all wounds with soap and water; cover wounds with bandage/dressing until healed and no drainage is present; change dressing when visibly soiled; wash hands after changing dressing; and dispose of dressings in proper containers.
- Do not share towels, razors, clothes, uniforms, helmets, hats, padding, gloves, ointments, antibiotics, daily athletic gear, or water bottles.
- We recommend that each athlete carry personal hand sanitizer in their gym bag.
At West Caldwell High School, we are available to answer any of your questions about the proper hygiene procedures used to prevent and control this type of infection in the athletic setting. We hope this fact sheet helps educate our WCHS athletes, parents, athletic personnel and the public regarding our school's prevention recommendations to maintain the overall health of our students.
Stephen McMasters, WCHS Athletic Director
Andy Puhl, WCHS Principal
Alicia Stanislaw, WCHS School Nurse
Dr. James Stanislaw, WCHS Team Physician, Carolina Orthopedics Physicians
Adam Bright, WCHS Athletic Trainer, Carolina Orthopedics Specialists