Cleaner on pads causes irritation to Whitmer players

Students complain of pain, redness in shoulders


A group of Whitmer High School football players received mild burns or rashes after a practice last week.

Whitmer athletic director Tom Snook said that players used shoulder pads Aug. 7 for the first time this season, and the pads had been wiped with disinfectant to prevent staph.

After the practice, several players complained of redness on their shoulders.

Snook said the pads were washed at the school, then sent off to be professionally cleaned without using chemicals. He said the cleaning company puts the pads in a vacuum chamber to “suck everything out.”

It's unclear how severe the rashes or burns were. Snook wouldn’t describe their severity, nor would he say how the players were being treated.

“Any kids that needed any type of treatment received that treatment,” he said.

It was also unclear how many players got the rashes or burns.

Snook only said it was “quite a few kids.”

Love Owens of Toledo said that her nephew, Lord Lowe, 17, and a senior, came home from practice with mild burns on his skin. Some of the other players had more severe burns, according to Lord, and walked off the field after practice with their shirts off because the burns hurt.

“My mom said it was swelling and redness,” Ms. Owens said.

“The kids were complaining of a lot of pain. They didn’t want their shirts on because touching it hurt.”

Several players have posted on Twitter about their burns, with one even saying his mother took him to an emergency room because he was in so much pain.

Snook said the athletic department called parents to let them know what happened, and that the team’s doctor was monitoring the players. The athletic department also sent a letter home to parents. Snook said no parents have called him to complain.

Players who had irritation were kept out of practice until they felt better.

“It’s an unfortunate incident, but we reacted to it as quickly as we could,” he said.