As autumn is officially here, Texas high school football is in full swing. Our kids are in the middle of their competitive season working hard with their eyes on a state championship at AT&T Stadium. One thing that can hinder them, though, is a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot.
In order to have a successful season, our young athletes spend hours every day at school training for their Friday night games. All this training requires a lot of responsibility with hygiene. Locker rooms are breeding grounds for fungi. Most North Texas schools actually require their athletes to shower on premises, so it is important to know how to prevent your athlete from contracting a fungal infection.
Fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. A locker room is the ideal breeding ground. With football season in full session, our athletes spend a lot of time in these rooms while they change into their gear before practice sessions and when they shower after. Be sure to tell your kids to wear flip-flops when they shower. The easiest way to contract athlete’s foot is by walking around barefoot where hundreds of other feet have stepped. Also, let your children know that they should not share shoes, socks or towels with their teammates. Sweaty shoes and socks are also breeding grounds as they sit in a humid locker all day long and do not get the chance to breathe. Tell them to wear clean clothes every day in their workouts. Damp, dirty clothes are never a good option, and similar to the damp shoes, socks and towels, can be massive breeding grounds for fungus, especially when they sit in a locker all day.
Though it is not a serious infection, some of the symptoms can be uncomfortable for an athlete while they are trying to compete. Athlete’s foot can be irritating to the skin around the toes and nails. It can dry the skin out very easily and cause a lot of discomfort. It can actually cause discoloration in toenails as well as cause them to grow away from the nail beds. It can develop crumbly, thick nails that can be painful while wearing shoes.
Avoid these symptoms and be sure to help your children take the proper measures to avoid developing athlete’s foot so that they can play to their full potential during the season!