When it comes to keeping athletic facilities clean, most people immediately think of common trouble spots like locker rooms and weight rooms. But there is another major area to be considered. Outdoor athletic sanitation is commonly overlooked by everyone from professional sports teams, to schools, to local city governments.
Outdoor Athletic Sanitation Keeps Athletes Healthy
Although it may be easy to forget about sanitizing outside spaces, they are vulnerable to many of the same risks as indoor areas when it comes to germs. This is true for the playground and outdoor exercise equipment commonly managed by cities and schools, as well as for the sports fields managed by everyone from high schools to universities to professional sports organizations.
The surfaces on these fields and equipment regularly come into contact with sweat, grime, fungus, mold, respiratory droplets and even blood. Illness-causing bacteria and viruses can be present, as can stain- and odor-causing microbes. Though it may be easy for facilities and organizations to keep outdoor exercise equipment and athletic spaces out of mind, doing so can lead to premature deterioration of expensive equipment and materials, and potentially put public health at risk.
Help People Help Themselves
A key way to help keep outdoor athletic areas clean (areas that are often not as heavily monitored or easily accessible to staff) is to help users help themselves. Many cities with outdoor gym equipment provide hand sanitizer dispensers that allow guests to apply sanitizer before and after they use the equipment. This practice can both help prevent the user from spreading germs to the equipment, as well as help prevent them from taking home any germs they might come into contact with. Providing disposable sanitizing wipes that allow users to wipe down entire pieces of equipment is another option that can help provide a more thorough clean.
Clear, easy-to-read signage is a key part of this approach. This simple, but effective tool can help inform users of any sanitation policies, practices or available materials. Signage can also encourage users to take steps like bringing their own towel, or perhaps simply remind them to wash their hands after using the space.
Keeping Germs Off Your Turf
For some organizations, like professional sports teams or college athletic programs, the very ground underfoot might be the most important – and most attention-getting – piece of athletic equipment they own. And just like other athletic surfaces, synthetic turf is not immune to exposure to sweat, blood, bacteria and mold.
One basic step is to have water on hand, ready to wash away trouble fluids that might show up – like, for instance, what might occur when a player gets a bloody nose. There are a variety of treatment methods to help keep turf safe, clean and hygienic, including UVC sanitation that uses high-output, C-band, ultra-violet light to destroy germs and antimicrobial treatment.
At GermLogic, we offer an antimicrobial turf treatment that works to protect turf from microbes like bacteria, mold, fungi and algae for years with just one application. This treatment controls contamination and odors in a simple, cost-effective process that eliminates the need for routine disinfectant products. Our treatment is safe for human skin, weather-resistant and safe for the environment.
Contact GermLogic today if you have questions about keeping your turf or other athletic equipment free of invading germs. By staying on top of outdoor athletic sanitation, you can give your team the biggest home field advantage – a clean and safe space to play.