It is conventional wisdom to tell children to wash their hands after they have been playing outside, especially before a meal. We associate the ‘outside’ with being dirty; however, many of us do not consider germs that are found inside and that reside on desks, doorknobs and sporting equipment.
A news release published by the University of California, Irvine, discussed a research study that examined the prevalence of germs on basketballs and volleyballs. This research was presented at an American College of Sports Medicine meeting. The results found that sterile balls accumulated Staphylococcus aureus rapidly and that it could survive on basketballs and volleyballs for up to 72 hours. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to bacteria.
Parents, coaches, athletes, and children should understand that the gym environment can be a source of germs, and that it is important to clean all equipment properly. Also, remember that the next time you go to the gym to work out, you should wipe down your equipment before you use it, and wash your hands at the end of your workout.