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Play Safe, Play Strong: Defending Against Student Athlete Illnesses

Before a big game or meet, coaches and athletes are focused on perfect form, faster times, and strength. Competing at one’s best is the priority - but it won’t matter if athletes can’t participate at all.

Athletes need to stay healthy when they compete. Illnesses and infections can prevent them from performing, and many are highly contagious. Germs are easily spread, especially in contact sports such as basketball, football, and wrestling, potentially taking out multiple members at once or over a few weeks.

Athletic facilities need to be safe spaces where people can practice, compete, and watch sports without risking their health. Regular disinfection is the best defense against illness.

Common Illnesses Among Athletes

Athletes, especially student athletes, are more susceptible to certain illnesses than their peers due to the close proximity with teammates/opponents and sharing of equipment and gear.

Common contagious illnesses among athletes include:

  1. Cold/flu
  2. COVID-19
  3. Athlete’s foot (AKA ringworm)
  4. Staph infections
  5. Mat herpes

All are preventable but remain very common and easily spread through direct contact or airborne germs. Without proper disinfection procedures in addition to cleaning, facilities are not safe from these pathogens. This also puts fans at risk; large indoor arenas are a hotspot for disease spread.

Skin infections are most common in wrestling (73.6% of athlete infections) and football (17.9%). Ringworm can take up to 4 weeks to fully heal, staph infections take up to 3 weeks, and blisters from mat herpes heal in 7-10 days. Athletes can practice and compete before they’re fully healed, as long as the affected areas are covered and clean. Someone with a staph infection or ringworm can resume playing within 2-3 days with treatment. Best case scenario - just one athlete misses a practice or two. Worst case scenario - multiple athletes have to sit out during a major game or meet. Either way, it is not ideal. Preventing these illnesses is essential to a successful season.

Battle Gear: Combatting Contagious Illnesses

Regular disinfection, especially through disinfectant fogging, is the best way to ensure the safety of athletes, coaches, fans, and anyone else who enters an athletic facility. Foggers are able to cover large spaces quickly and easily, including hard to reach spots like above lockers, behind/underneath furniture, and they even remove airborne germs. Fogging is more effective and efficient than other methods, and deodorizes at the same time (see: UV Disinfection vs. Electrostatic Sprayers vs. Disinfectant Fogging).

Breezy Blue™ is a smart disinfecting fogger that makes disinfection quicker, safer, and easier for custodians. The high-tech fogger uses an eco-friendly, hydrogen peroxide-based solution that leaves no residue behind. This means that custodians simply need to place Breezy Blue™ in the doorway, press the button to fog, and then close the door and move onto the next area. 

With Breezy products, schools like St. Mary’s City Schools in Ohio and the University of New Mexico are able to disinfect their athletic facilities. 

"I chose to use Breezy Blue to disinfect my school because the chemistry is extremely effective, it doesn't cause extra work by leaving residue, and it eliminates odors,” said Nick Hager, Director of Operations. “The best part is we use such little chemistry, so we save money while still disinfecting effectively."

"Breezy allows for our students to feel safer, for more fan attendance, and for those people to feel like they're safe when they're in our facility,” said David Williams, Deputy Athletic Director at UNM. “This is all about our student athletes doing things safely."

Deodorizing Athletic Facilities

In addition to disease spreading amongst teammates and fans, athletic facilities often struggle with combatting odors. Locker rooms, weight rooms, mats, indoor courts, equipment, and more are commonly affected by smells. This can be off-putting for athletes, and it signals a lack of hygiene. Germs AND odors can be removed with just 1-2 minutes of fogging with Breezy Blue. Many odors are caused by bacteria, so eliminating those bacteria creates fresher spaces and equipment.

Disinfecting regularly can make a difference in whether your team is healthy and performing their best, or constantly missing key players. Adding a new disinfecting process doesn’t need to be difficult; it’s easy with Breezy.


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