Hidden Germs for Athletes of all Ages

clean gym germs with anolyte cIt is no secret that contact sports offer plenty of opportunities for athletes to transfer germs to one another, however, even the casual athlete will be exposed to a variety of bacteria and viruses during the course of their training, practice or competition. It is important to be aware of where the hidden germs lurk and to take precautions to avoid them.

Babies and Toddlers

Whether you take your toddler to ‘Mommy and Me’ classes, swimming classes or they have already started tumbling on the gymnastics mat, your child has the potential to be exposed to germs in various areas of the gym or with use of the equipment.

Where are germs hiding?

  • Shared toys in some baby gym classes
  • Swimming pools – Chlorine does not kill everything and it does not kill germs immediately. Most pools test positive for strains of E. coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia
  • Tumbling mats – shared mats, especially areas of floor covered by large mats, may not be cleaned as often as necessary.
  • Locker room benches, floors, lockers, showers
  • Water fountains

Young Children Ages 4-8

At this age, children are beginning to participate more often in organized sports and classes. While there is still plenty of opportunities to pick up germs, parents are often at practice and at games where they can monitor this exposure.

Where are germs hiding?

  • Personal athletic equipment – shoes, cleats, shin guards, helmets, mouth guards, protective pads – especially items that are not laundered frequently
  • Gym bags
  • Swimming pools
  • Team benches, water cooler, and refreshment table
  • Bats, balls, gloves, tennis rackets, golf club grips, and other hand-held equipment
  • Gymnastics mats and shared multi-purpose mats at schools, community centers, and YMCAs may be cleaned at the end of each day, but not between each use.
  • Playground equipment – swings, climbing walls, sliding boards, and other playground equipment rarely, if ever, are cleaned. Grips, handles, ropes, and other surfaces are loaded with germs.

Bigger Kids Ages 9-13

As kids get older and participate in events that are more competitive, parents tend to feel comfortable dropping their kids at practice where they are not as closely monitored. What could go wrong? Kids this age know about good hygiene, right?

Here is where germs are hiding:

  • Practice jerseys – how often are these cleaned? They are shared by the team and then wind up in a pile or bag to await the next practice.
  • Personal athletic equipment – shoes, cleats, shin guards, helmets, mouth guards, protective pads – especially items that are not laundered frequently
  • Gym bags
  • Swimming pools
  • Team benches, water cooler, and refreshment table
  • Bats, balls, gloves, tennis rackets, golf club grips, and other hand-held equipment
  • Gymnastics mats and shared multi-purpose mats at schools, community centers, and YMCAs may be cleaned at the end of each day, but not between each use.
  • Hats and caps that are worn on sweaty heads.
  • Socks – Yes, they need to be washed after each use.

Teens Ages 14-18

This age group is where we start to see serious participation in competitive sports and where participation in contact sports grows. This is also when parents have the least oversight of their kids while they are in practice or in training.

Where are the germs hiding?

  • Wrestling and gymnastics mats
  • Practice jerseys – these might be washed at the end of the week…maybe
  • Helmets, pads, mouth guards, cleats, gloves – all the personal equipment used in sports.
  • Locker room lockers, benches, showers, floors are all loaded with germs.
  • Whirlpools, ice baths, saunas, and hot tubs used for treating injuries.
  • Weight room at school – free weights, weight machines, exercise machines
  • Swimming pools

Adults – Casual to serious athletes

Pro athlete, non-professional competitive athlete, or casual sports enthusiasts are all at risk of exposure to germs while in training or in competition. Staph infections do not just happen to the pro athlete who works out all day. It is important to know where you might pick up the germs and take care to avoid or correct the situation.

Where are germs hiding?

Getting enough exercise is important for good health. Avoiding germs at the gym or when participating in sports is almost impossible, so instead of feeling like you have to walk around in a HAZMAT suit, carry Anolyte H™ along in your gym bag for cleansing away germs from your face, hands, and other exposed skin, especially when showering isn’t an immediate option. Once home, Anolyte C™ is great for cleaning personal athletic equipment, bottoms of shoes, and the interior of your gym bag.

Disclaimer: Nature Unleashed Anolyte D is an EPA-registered disinfectant and is the only Anolyte formula classified as an antimicrobial, antibacterial agent. The EPA does not assign safety claims to products classified as disinfectant agents; however, the EPA recognizes Anolyte D as safe for septic and wastewater treatment systems. Use only as directed.

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