Gym Teachers: Here’s Why Your Students Should Cover Their Warts During Sports

Do you teach physical education to school-aged children? Do those children often share sports equipment and gear? If so, they should be covering any visible warts on their skin each and every time they participate in your class. If this seems extreme, check out the below information about molluscum contagiosum. 

What Is Molluscum Contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection characterized by mollusca, which are raised skin growths. Caused by the poxvirus, the growths resemble warts; they’re usually between 2 and 5 mm in diameter and can be white, pink, or the skin-colored. Once molluscum contagiosum has been contracted, mollusca can appear anywhere on the body, and although any number of them may appear, most people develop between 10 and 20 growths. Anybody can contract this condition, but it is most common in young children.

How Contagious Is It?

Molluscum contagiosum can spread quite rapidly in school settings. The infection can be transmitted to others as soon as mollusca appear on the skin, and the infected person remains contagious for the entire duration that mollusca are present. Direct contact is not necessary to spread this infection; it can be contracted through the sharing of objects, such as sports helmets and gym mats.

Mollusca can also spread to different parts of the body. For example, a child that starts out with a mollusca on their leg and scratches it may soon find that new mollusca have sprouted up on one of their hands or arms. The mollusca heal individually, with most of them taking between 2 to 3 months to diminish. However, a person is only cured of molluscum contagiosum once every single mollusca has healed. Generally, the condition lasts between 6 and 18 months in total, but a person can be infected for a period up to 4 years in length. 

New Rules Of Gym Class

If you currently don’t require your students to cover their warts when participating in gym class, it’s time to start doing so.  While moluscum contagiosum is relatively harmless to the health of those infected, students with the condition can develop painful secondary skin infections. Most clothing provides an ample barrier to protect against an infected student spreading molluscum contagiosum, but if the mollusca can’t be covered by clothing or the student’s clothing is especially light-weight, then a watertight bandage should be applied over the lesions.

If a student has several wart-like growths visible on their body and covering them all up is not an option, the child should not participate in group sports activities until you can contact the parents and request that the child be seen by a dermatologist at a clinic like Dermatology Surgery Center. A dermatologist can determine if the growths are, indeed, mollusca, and he or she can discuss treatment options with the child’s parents. While treatment is not necessary for most cases of molluscum contagiosum, there are treatment methods that can be implemented when the sufferer poses great risk of infecting others.

You should also be disinfecting all gym equipment and gear thoroughly after each use. Use a disinfectant that is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency to be effective against poxviruses, and follow the amount, dilution, and drying time recommended by the manufacturer of the product. If you allow your students to bring their own sports gear from home to use during gym class, make sure that they don’t share their equipment with other students.

As a gym teacher, it’s up to you to create the safest possible environment for your students while they’re in your care. Make sure your gymnasium doesn’t become a breeding ground for mollusca by implementing the infection disease control methods discussed above.

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7 Ways To Cope With Arthritis

Arthritis is not an uncommon condition to have. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 52.5 million adults in the United States suffer from arthritis. In addition to pain in your joints, you may also experience fatigue, muscle weakness and stiffness. Although there is no cure for this disease, you can manage it. Here are seven effective ways to cope with arthritis:

Get Your Exercise

When your joints are aching, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. However, regular physical activity can actually have a positive effect on your arthritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, exercise can strengthen your muscles, improve your balance and reduce stiffness in your joints. It is best to participate in low-impact exercises that do not hurt your joints, such as swimming, walking and bicycling. You should aim to exercise 150 minutes a week and take things slowly at first. If you are finding it difficult to get started, you should try exercising with a friend or family member.

Take a Warm Bath

Heat reduces inflammation, so taking a warm bath can help ease your arthritis pain. The next time your joints ache, just soak in your bathtub for at least 20 minutes or so. When you get out, your joints should feel a lot better.

Lose Weight

Being overweight doesn’t just increase your risk of several chronic diseases; it can also make your arthritis pain much worse. When you are carrying around extra pounds, it can put a lot of pressure on the joints in your back, knees and hips. Losing even a few pounds can take some of the stress off and lessen the pain. To lose weight safely, cut junk food out of your diet and eat more nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains.

Give Acupuncture a Chance

If you are looking for a natural way to ease your arthritis pain, you should think about acupuncture. During this ancient practice, thin needles will be inserted into certain parts of your body, reducing pain. Make sure you only have a licensed acupuncturist perform acupuncture on your body.

Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

Another way you can manage your arthritis pain is to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation in your body, which can decrease arthritis pain. Besides fatty fish, you can find omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil, walnuts and flaxseed.

Try Meditation

When you start to feel pain in your joints, you should try meditating for 10 minutes. Meditation can relax your body and help you deal with the pain better. Just sit in a quiet room and focus your mind on one object in the room. Meditating can take the stress away and help you forget about the pain.

Use Assistive Devices

When you suffer from arthritis, there is no shame in using assistive devices. For example, if you have trouble walking around, you could use a cane or put braces on your legs. To make things easier in the kitchen, use an electric jar opener and use pans and pots that have handles on both sides. It is also a good idea to get a bedroom lamp that turns on and off by the sound of your voice.

Living with arthritis is certainly not easy all the time, but it does not have to be unbearable to live with. If you follow these helpful tips, coping with this condition will be much simpler. However, if the pain is still too intense, you should talk to your doctor, someone like Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of South Jersey, about other options.

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6 Tips For Helping A Senior With Limited Mobility

If your senior loved one recently lost some or all of his mobility, you may be a loss at what to do. Whether the mobility problems are a result of a disease or accident, your family member likely feels sad and frustrated about the situation. While you might not be able to help your loved regain his mobility, you can make his life easier. Here are six helpful tips for helping a senior with limited mobility:

Make Necessary Adjustments to the Home

One of the first things you should do is make your senior family member’s home easier to get around in. Making a few adjustments can simplify your elderly loved one’s life and help him become much happier. For instance, according to Citizens Information, you should think about installing a stair chair lift so that he can get up the stairs easier. To prevent slips and falls in the bathroom, you should install grab bars in the shower and raise the toilet. You should also think about widening the doorways and installing ramps in the house.

Encourage Exercise

Exercise might seem next to impossible to someone with limited mobility, but it can actually have a lot of benefits. Regular physical activity can increase your loved one’s strength and prevent weight gain. Suggest exercises that are low-impact and easy on the joints, such as swimming or walking. Even a short stroll around the block every day can have many advantages. If your senior family member seems reluctant about exercising, try working out with him.

Hire a Home Healthcare Aide

A busy work and family life can prevent you from giving your elderly loved one all of the help he needs. If this is the case, you should think about hiring a home healthcare aide to help your family member around the house. There are many tasks a home healthcare aide can help with, including doing the dishes, grocery shopping and vacuuming.

Suggest a Support Group

If your elderly loved one seems sad and alone about his limited mobility, you should encourage him to join a support group. During these support group meetings, your family member can meet other people who share the same struggles. Talking to others who knows what it is like to have limited mobility can help your family member not feel so alone.

Validate Your Lovde One’s Feelings

If your loved one comes up to you and tells you how upset and frustrated he feels about being immobile, it is very important to validate his feelings. Tell him it is understandable that he is upset over the situation and that you will always be there to support him. If your family member realizes that you sympathize with his immobility, he may feel more at ease.

Look for Signs of Depression

While it is normal to feel upset about being immobile sometimes, letting it consume your life is not healthy. If your elderly loved one seems hopeless and has lost interest in his regular activities, it is definitely time to intervene. Tell your family member that you are worried about him and that you do not want him to feel depressed all the time. Let him know that there is professional help out there and that you will take him to see a therapist.

Living with limited immobility is not always easy, but it does not have to be a complete struggle. If you follow these helpful tips, your elderly loved one will have fewer issues with his limited mobility. He will appreciate that you took the time to help him get through this difficult time in his life.

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