MomsTeam.com update: Kids need to sterilize mouthguards

This week's best of MomsTeam.com, a health and safety website devoted to youth sports:

  • Mouthguards are a mandatory piece of safety equipment in football and are recommended for all contact and collision sports, but did you know that with use, they can become highly contaminated with bacteria, yeast and mold? To help children maintain good oral health, researchers at Oklahoma State University urge parents to make sure mouthguards are sanitized in an anti-microbial solution between uses and replaced every two weeks or when they develop sharp or jagged edges, whichever occurs first.
  • In the third MomsTeam's video short in a series about sports concussions, Dr. William P. Meehan III, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic and the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in the Division of Sports Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, discussed the four criteria that should be met before an athlete is allowed to return to play after a concussion.
  • A Texas mom of two teenagers -- a son in his first year of middle school football and a daughter on the high school drill team -- slogs through an endless series of two-a-days in preparation for another year of school and sports.
  • The start of a new school year is one of the most important times for high school athletes who want to play sports in college. "Every athlete needs a game plan for recruiting success. Unfortunately, most recruits are unsure which steps to take and when to take them," said the director of recruiting for NCSA Athletic Recruiting, Randy Taylor, who offered a helpful checklist for parents to give their high school student-athletes to help them stay on the right track.
  • One of the signs usually present with concussions is poor balance. An athlete's equilibrium can be tested using low-technology, intermediate technology and high-technology methods, but the most widely used and validated is the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). MomsTeam's senior health and safety editor Lindsay Barton reviewed the pluses and minuses of the various balance testing protocols.
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