NBA All-Star Grant Hill’s Advice to Parents of Athletes

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Modernmom was able to snatch an exclusive interview with NBA All-Star Grant Hill. The Pheonix Suns basketball player opened up to us about balancing his successful athletic career and his family, and about his experience with MRSA, a type of staph bacteria infection that has been linked to more deaths than AIDS. Currently, Grant is a spokesperson for Stop MRSA Now Coalition, an organization that is taking an active role in helping prevent the spread of MRSA by providing educational materials to communities across the nation. Find out more about what Grant Hill has to say about MRSA — it could save your kid’s life!

Facts About MRSA

MRSA, short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of Staph bacteria found on the skin and in the nose that is resistant to antibiotics. More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly MRSA infections every year, according to www.stopmrsanow.org (link below). There are two types of MRSA — Healthcare-Associated (HA-MRSA), which occurs in hospitals and nursing homes, and a newer type which is Community-Associated (CA-MRSA). This is the one parents need to worry about most since it has begun to spread to public settings like gyms, locker rooms and schools.

Grant’s Experience with MRSA

Grant’s own experience with MRSA led him to his partnership with the organization. Here’s his story: “Well…I had a MRSA infection. It was very scary, and I was rushed to the hospital. It was probably the closest I’ve been to dying. I had a skin graft, and it was a long recovery…not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. It was something that I don’t want anyone else to go through, so I’ve partnered with the Clorox Company, Swap Me Sports and the Stop MRSA Now Coalition to try to bring awareness and bring attention to have people learn about MRSA – what it is, what it can do and what you can do to prevent it. I jumped at the opportunity, and we’re doing our part to spread the message.”

What Are Some Steps to Preventing MRSA?

Here are some tips on keeping your kid safe. Scrub up – Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds.
Wipe it down – Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect surfaces.
Cover your cuts – Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
Keep to yourself – Do not share personal items, like towels or razors, that come into contact with bare skin.
Stay Clean – Wash clothing and towels after every use.
Use a barrier – Keep a towel or clothing between skin and shared equipment.

How Do You Encourage Your Own Kids to Stay Active?

As a pro basketball player, Grant encourages his own kids to stay active. Here’s his method: “I encourage my kids to do what they want to do…whatever they’re interested in. That’s everything from playing sports, to being in choir, to being on the chess team…whatever the case may be. As a parent, you want to support them. Obviously as an athlete, yes, I encourage that and thankfully they’re in sports, so I can certainly watch, cheer them and support them. But it’s got to be about fun…I never want to pressure them into anything. I think there are a lot of great values you can take from sports. I’m there to support them regardless what they do.” Great advice, Grant!

Visit The Stop MRSA Now Coalition

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