12 Tips for Athletes & Parents

                          of Children Who Play on Artificial "Turf" health fieldturf synthetic


          If your child is playing in the artificial athletic fields

                   certain precautions need to be taken; _________________________________________________________________

              In 2003 Science News found that scrapes and cuts endured by players on artificial turf can develop into drug-resistant bacterial infections (MRSA "SUPERBUG," STAPH INFECTION methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureu.) that may spread to teammates in the locker room or to opponents on the field. Any organic material such as blood, vomit, spit, sweat, urine, or fecal matter becomes trapped within the tire crumbs. The Centers for Disease Control has produced a web site to help and to address frequently asked questions regarding MRSA. The nonprofit group Environment and Human Health, Inc. has information on additional health problems associated with tire waste. _______________________________________________________________________________

1) Pay attention to any open wounds on your child. MRSA infection can appear to be a sting or bite

2) Immediately clean any open wounds with strong disinfectant.

3) Discourage your child from from exposing bare skin to playing surface, including walking barefoot.

4) Keep tire crumbs out of mouth, nose, and eyes.

5) Be especially vigilant around benches, bleachers, and other areas where sweepers don't get.

6) Be especially vigilant where spilled food and body fluids can tend to accumulate. 

7) Be aware of bird droppings or other animal waste on the field. The natural bio-degrading process that takes place in grass does not take place in artificial surfaces so bacteria remains and flourishes. Be aware around the house. Tire crumbs and it's associated bacteria are easily transported into the house by way of shoes, clothing, and hair.

8) Don't allow your child to lie down on the field, toxic fumes can be inhaled especially when the mouth is near to tire crumb surface.

9) Have your child wear the correct footwear to minimize the odds of injuries like turftoe and footlock.

10) Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids. On a 98 degree day, temperatures on the field have registered up to 173 degrees. Second degree burns are possible. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are conditions that need to be closely monitored.

11) Ask if your child's league plays on natural grass or tire waste crumbs. Many leagues will promote artificial turf for its' efficiency despite its' risk.

12) These new fields have only been around for about 10 years. Stay on top of the latest news and information.




What to look for to minimize infection risk  Photos of fields in SF      



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