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Hygiene in Physical Education and the Locker Room

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Keaton Mullenix

P.E. Jr. and Sr. High

Hygiene

4 October 2007

Hygiene in Physical Education and the Locker Room

Today physical education is growing in schools. Along with physical education come bacteria and infectious diseases. Since physical education has the most person-to-person interaction of any junior high or high school course it is important that the physical education teacher provide knowledge to the students of these infectious diseases and how to prevent them.

Personal hygiene is important in any school, but particularly in the physical education classroom. Students should be aware of the leading infectious disease in the locker rooms. This disease is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. According to Wikipedia, "MRSA is an isolate of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus characterized by antibiotic resistance to all penicillins, including methicillin and other narrow-spectrum." This disease gets into a person's system through the nostrils most of the time, but can sometimes get in through the respiratory tract, urinary tract or open wounds. There are two ways to identify this disease. The clearest way of identification is by having a blood test done. Another way one might tell they have MRSA is by noticing unsightly boils or rashes. This disease can last from just a few weeks to a full year.

Once students have been educated about the MRSA they should know how to prevent it. The most common way of prevention is to "wash your hands frequently for 15 to 20 seconds" (Back2School2007). Students should always wash their hands after P.E. class is over to remove the bacteria. This principle should be used in junior and senior high school. In P.E. classes at the high school level, the problem and prevention become more complex. The risk of contracting MRSA is much more likely due to the nature of more contact activities at the high school level. For instance, students playing football in the early fall sweat profusely leaving them with many bacterium on their body. Along with this, football has the most contact of any sport so open wounds are inevitable. The combination of the two without personal hygiene can be deadly. The best way to prevent MRSA from being contracted

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