In Belmont County, all school superintendents, school nurses, coaches and athletic directors are about to get a letter from the county health department.
It covers two subjects--MRSA and the summer heat.
As schools gear up for football and band practice, there are procedures that health officials want them to follow to keep students safe.
The letter first addresses MRSA.
The aggressive staph infection can be passed easily from one person to another, and it gets into the body through any break in the skin.
A hangnail, an insect bite or a rash could be the entrance point for this persistent infection.
And outside the body, it can live on surfaces from days to months.
"Actually, all athletic equipment is a breeding ground for MRSA," says Lynn Schrum, R.N., infectious disease specialist at the Belmont County Health Department. "It likes warm, moist areas like polyester and vinyl."
The letter recommends sanitizing locker room surfaces daily with bleach water.
And it recommends mandating students to report any skin infections, no matter how small.
"It could look like a pimple," says Schrum. "It could be an infected hair follicle. Or it could be as obvious as an abscess."
It also addressed heat-related illnesses.
The letter suggests that athletic practices be held in early morning or evening, not in the heat of the day.
And it asks coaches to be creative in keeping players cool.
"Players generally lose fluids so they can weigh the players before and after the practice to gauge their fluid loss," said Schrum. "And replace those lost fluids with sports drinks, not energy drinks. Another good idea is to fill a kiddie pool with ice and water. The players can splash themselves and wade through it to cool themselves down."
The letter warns them to look out for signs of heat stress such as cramping, sweating or nausea.
And it also recommends, while hydrating themselves, to make sure they use individual drink containers, not to share.