It's the height of flu season and families are taking whatever steps they can to prevent the flu. For some this means flu "shots," while for others it means taking whatever steps necessary to avoid it like washing hands, eating healthy and getting enough rest. But one sports league in New York has decided that there is even one more way to prevent the flu and that is to do away with the norms of good sportsmanship.
Youth sports teams are encouraged to exhibit good sportsmanship. Two of the ways that good sportsmanship is encouraged is the traditional high five, fist bumps or handshakes before or after a game. The Manhattan Soccer Club , recently sent out an email to it's parents and participants banning high-fives and handshakes. Now team members are encouraged to touch elbows as the "safest thing to do."
“We just thought it would be prudent to have some safety protocols in place for the kids,” said Dr. Valerie Parkas, who is not just an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, but also president of the Manhattan Soccer Club.
Some parents think this is a good idea telling the NY Post “It shows that [the club] is on top of what is going on with the flu outbreak, and they have come up with a great solution that shows good sportsmanship while also reducing the chance of transferring the flu,” said Andy Stenzler, whose 10-year-old daughter plays with the club.
This precautionary measure has been taken as New Yorkers report nearly 20,000 recent cases of the flu, and Gov. Cuomo declares a public health state of emergency.
However, does this actually help stop the spread of the flu? Aren't kids going to constantly touch each other at they compete? Cough in or on players? And, what about the instructions to cough or sneeze into your elbow, aren't they now being told to touch the very part of the body that they actually should be avoiding?
What do you think parents? Does good sportsmanship cause the flu to spread?