Recommendations for the Prevention of Staphylococcal Infections for Schools*
GENERAL CLEANING STRATEGIES
- Establish and maintain routine schedules for environmental cleaning.
- Clean environmental surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner and use the product in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure that high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, drinking fountains, faucet handles, and surfaces in and around toilets) are cleaned daily.
- Promptly clean and decontaminate body fluid contamination of surfaces using either a 1:10 dilution of household chlorine bleach (1 part bleach in 9 parts water, prepared daily) or a germicidal product with specific label claims for HIV or hepatitis B virus.
- Maintain cleaning schedule for school cafeteria and dining area as directed by the environmental health division of the local health department.
STRATEGIES FOR CLEANING SPORT/ATHLETIC-RELATED EQUIPMENT AND ITEMS
- Clean items used in sporting and/or athletic-related activities after each use with an all-purpose cleaner and use the product in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Promptly clean and decontaminate items that have visible soiling with blood or other body fluids using either a 1:10 dilution of household chlorine bleach (1 part bleach in 9 parts water, prepared daily) or a germicidal product with specific label claims for HIV or hepatitis B virus.
MEASURES FOR PREVENTING STAPHYLOCOCCAL SKIN INFECTIONS AMONG ATHLETES
- Advise students, faculty and staff regarding the importance of hand hygiene to minimize the spread of infectious disease.
- Encourage good hygiene, including showering and washing with soap, after all practices and competitions.
- Ensure availability of adequate soap and running water for hand washing in all bathrooms.
- Provide individual-use towels during all practices and competitions.
- Discourage sharing personal items.
- Do not allow athletes with draining wounds or infections to participate in practices or games until the wound has stopped draining. Because some staph infections may be difficult to treat, this may be a few weeks or longer. Permit the athlete participant to participate in non-contact activities if wounds are covered and the infected person observes good hygienic practices – washing hands, showering and laundering clothes.
- Train athletes and coaches to recognize wounds that are potentially infected (e.g., purulent drainage, redness, or tenderness around the wound).
- Encourage athletes to report wounds and skin lesions to coaches and encourage coaches to assess participants regularly for wounds and skin lesions.
- Discourage sharing water bottles.
- Give consideration to having athletes shower before participating in a competition or public activity.
- Ensure that practice uniforms and physical education uniforms are laundered on a weekly basis, or if feasible, more frequently.
- Encourage athletes who have non-healing, draining skin lesions and wounds that persist for more than one week to seek medical attention.
*The local health department may need to implement more stringent requirements during an outbreak.