Friday, October 12, 2018

Influenza and Hockey

The flu has gotten worse in recent years. Surprisingly, one community it has affected is the hockey community. In fact, it’s plagued so many hockey clubs across the nation that the chief medical officer of USA Hockey actually issued some recommendations to stop the spread of this virus in hockey associations.   

To Vaccinate or Not?

Vaccination is a touchy topic for many these days. However, the flu vaccine is still recommended to help stop the spread of this contagious respiratory illness. Unfortunately, though, the vaccine is not always effective.

The choice is yours on whether or not you wish to vaccinate, but it’s not a bad preventative measure…even if it doesn’t always work.

Quarantine at the First Sign of Symptoms

Vaccinated or not, if a player develops any of the symptoms of influenza, quarantine him right away. The less contact he has with others on the team, the less likely it is that the virus will spread.

Symptoms to be mindful of include:

l  Fever
l  Runny nose
l  Coughing
l  Sore throat
l  Body aches
l  Chills
l  Fatigue
l  Headaches
l  Vomiting
l  Diarrhea

Wash Those Hands

We all know that washing our hands after we go to the bathroom and before we eat is important. However, spread the word and remind your young players of this during flu season.

In fact, regular hand washing throughout the day with warm water and soap or with hand sanitizer is a wise practice.

Skip the Sharing

It’s never a good idea to share water bottles, utensils, or to eat from the same food someone else has eaten from.

Remind your players that, especially during flu season, it’s perfectly fine to skip the sharing.

Don’t Play Through the Pain

Finally, don’t teach your players that they need to “suck it up” or “play through the pain.”

That’s a great way to keep a player from getting well quickly and to spread influenza to the whole team. Allow players who don’t feel well to take breaks and recuperation time without any guilt.

Your whole team is likely to be a lot better off if you follow these tips all year round, but especially during flu season.

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