As most of you are aware staphylococcus (STAPH-MRSA) infections are a real problem amongst athletes. Hockey players are no exception. They sweat a lot while playing or practicing, then the sweat gets trapped in the gear—elbow pads, shin guards, shoulder pads, helmet......Then the trapped sweat becomes a science experiment and turns into all sorts of bugs and bacteria. That is when the gear becomes lethal not only to your nose but to your health!!
Here are a few steps to take to limit risk of Staph Infections:
Wash hands each time hockey gloves have been worn. In my opinion the gloves are the stinkiest piece of gear.
Shower ASAP after each practice/game
Clean and cover any cuts, scratches, abrasions before putting hockey equipment on.
**My first aid kit is for all to use and is well stocked with bandaides, neosporin, gauze, tape.......Please use it! ***
Clean that stinky gear!!
As shown in the video you can take it to have it cleaned or the cheaper option is to throw it into the washing machine. Yep, all the gear can be washed with exception of skates and helmet. Some people soak gear in tub with soap and bleach and air dry. I prefer to put it in the washing machine on hot setting, delicate cycle, and hang it outside in the sun.
Helmets-wipe inside with Isopropyl Alcohol
Skates-pull insoles out soak in soapy water then air dry
**This should be done throughout the season. Basically, whenever it begins to stink clean it!!**
Air Equipment out after each game/practice including skate insoles.
Do not allow the gear to remain wet and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Even when you are traveling out of town hang gear up in the hotel room. Although, I am told some of the hotels (especially up North) are wise to this and will not allow hockey bags in their hotels. Can't say I blame them. In that case air out in vehicle may be your only option.
Educate the players. Tell them the seriousness of it and what steps they can take to prevent it. I love it when the kids come to me and ask for a bandaide to cover a cut, no matter how small.