Millions of U.S. children participate in organized sports each year. While these sports provide numerous health benefits, there also are infectious disease risks that the pediatrician should be aware of. For example, sports-related skin infections spread by contact are associated with 10%-15% of time-loss injuries among college athletes.
The new AAP clinical report Infectious Diseases Associated with Organized Sports and Outbreak Control provides guidance on risk factors, preventive measures and management of such diseases.
The report, from the Committee on Infectious Diseases and Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, is available at https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-2477 and will be published in the October issue of Pediatrics.
Common causes of sports-related infections
The most common risk factors for sports-related infections involve skin-to-skin contact with athletes (e.g., football players, wrestlers, rugby players) who have active skin infections, environmental exposures associated with physical trauma, sharing of equipment, and contact with contaminated fomites such as towels. Underlying eczema also is a risk factor.