Emergency Response is one of those planning things that we all hope we’ll never have to use but are eternally grateful we’ve done when the need arises. With the ramping up of the season and greater numbers of young athletes headed out to the pitch, the diamond, the field, we need to do due diligence in preparing for both minor and major injuries.
Emergency response is the planning of what to do in the event of injury to any of our players. Essentially, it involves three levels, 1) First Aid Kit, 2) Safety Plan, and 3) CPR/First Aid/AED trained volunteers.
A first aid kit should contain basics, such as adhesive bandages (aka Band-Aids) of various sizes, compression wraps (aka Ace Wraps), cold packs or ice bags (bring ice with you, not all venues have it available), gauze, medical tape, a simple cardboard splint (can substitute with a few old magazines which can work as a splint).
Also make certain to have access to clean water, bring your own, or have a container available for it. Water will be useful in irrigating open wounds as well as for keeping hydrated.
The goal is to temporarily, administer care until the athlete can get to more definitive, professional care. We’re not doing craniotomies out at mid-field now! A Safety Plan should include knowing and writing down the location of the most appropriate medical care facility in your location. Especially if you’re at a tournament out of town. Don’t always rely on GPS as it may not show you the most appropriate site, i.e. Emergency Department vs Urgent Care vs. Clinic.
Have all safety information with your child. The coach should have the information on all athletes but it’s always good to have your child’s medical history (especially if complex) and immunization records. Don’t rely on memory.
The Safety Plan should also include the names and contact information of pre-determined volunteers who have CPR training, First-Aid training, and training on an AED/Automatic External Defibrillator. Know the location of the closest AED before the event.
Being prepared is essential in any rapid emergency response. For more information, go to safekids.org as always. Play hard, play safe.