Cowichan Valley Football Association

Equipment Fit/Maintenance

  • Gear is fitted to your child at the start of the season, but should the gear become uncomfortable or show signs of damage, please advise the coach.
An important part of keeping a football player healthy is ensuring that their sports equipment is clean and properly maintained.  

Injury and illness caused by poor equipment upkeep can shorten the season for young athletes and in extreme cases can lead to life threatening injuries. It is important to ensure equipment fits properly at the equipment check out and is maintained throughout the season. Parents can help prevent the occurrence of staph infections in their athletes and teammates by properly disinfecting all equipment.

Find a dry place to store football equipment when not in use. A basement or mud room is a good choice. Hang equipment on hooks, hangars, or store on floor on cardboard or pallets to allow for air circulation. Check equipment often for proper fit and signs of cracks or damage such as broken snaps, split straps, or loose parts.


Cleaning your Gear:

See Staphylococcus (Staph) page

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 30% of the population carries Staphylococcus Aureus in their nose or on their skin. Mainly causing pimples and boils, these infections are transferred people to people through direct physical contact or via an object such as a helmet or uniform. Common staph infections can also cause pneumonia, infections of the bloodstream and joint infections. In its extreme form, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), antibiotic resistant staph infections can cause severe illness and even death.

To help prevent the growth and spread of these and other close contact communicable germs it is imperative that equipment, including uniforms, be washed and disinfected often. Take equipment off immediately after practice or a game. Transport dirty equipment in a car trunk for long commutes. Once home, transport equipment to a dry place and clean as soon as practical. Following the manufacturer’s washing instructions is important to prevent the equipment from prematurely breaking down.

  • Helmets – Wipe outside of helmet and mask with an anti bacterial wipe or warm soapy water. The inside can be sprayed with Lysol®
  • Shoulder pads – Most pads can be sprayed with Lysol®. If pads become extremely muddy, simply hose them off and hang to dry.
  • Hip pads – Wipe with soap and damp cloth.
  • Cup and athletic supporter – Most jocks and cup systems can be thrown in the wash but read manufacturer’s care label.
  • Knee and Thigh pads – These can be treated with Lysol® as needed.
  • Cleats– Use newspaper as indicated above to remove moisture, spray with Lysol®, or toss in the wash if recommended by care labeling.
  • Uniform – Launder per care instructions after each practice or game. Football jerseys are exposed to dirt, bacteria, and sweat.
  • Water jug – Purchase a water jug that is dishwasher safe and wash after each use. Encourage your player not to share drinks and label the jug with player’s name and number.

Football is a tremendous opportunity for young athletes to grow and bond. By properly maintaining and cleaning sports equipment, parents can help their players avoid unnecessary injury or illness and enjoy a long and healthy season.

Contact our Equipment manager equipment [at] cowichanfootball [dot] com

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