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NEW JERSEY (CBSMiami) – A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics aims to keep children and teens who play organized sports healthy and safe.

“There’s a couple of different infectious diseases that we can never see, including MRSA, herpes, athletes foot,” said Anais Mixson, an athletic trainer at Neptune High School.

That’s why Mixson makes sure the mats at the New Jersey high school are wiped clean with antibacterial every night.

“If we don’t take the proper precautions, if we skip steps, that’s where were gonna see athletes who will have infections that could possibly last them the rest of their life,” Mixson said.

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics offers new guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among student athletes and treat them appropriately.

“We want to bring focus to the doctor in the office, the athlete and the parent and to the people who are running sporting events,” said Dr. Stephen Rice, the director of sports medicine at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

Infections are especially common in close contact sports such as football and wrestling.

Experts say student athletes need to learn proper personal hygiene. They should wipe down equipment before and after every use, and never share personal items like water bottles and towels.

From the gym, to the weight room, to the locker room, Neptune High School is doing all it can to keep germs at bay.

“If they’re not going home and showering after practice, or they’re not washing their workout clothes, then those are the things that are going to spread infections,” Mixson said.

About 10 to 15 percent of injuries that sideline college athletes are related to infectious diseases.

The report also highlights that student athletes should be up to date on immunizations.


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