Sports Safety Checklist
Educating parents and coaches on how to help children avoid common sports-related injuries is a top priority for certified athletic trainers who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses.
Before Children Participate in Organized Sports, Parents Should:
- Assess the financial and time impact on your family.
- Determine if your children are physically and mentally “in shape”.
- Have your children obtain a physical examination.
- Provide coaches with your child’s medical history.
- Make sure your children are staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet.
- Ascertain coaches’ qualifications and find out who’s taking care of your kids in the event of an injury or illness.
Before Children Participate in Organized Sports Coaches Should:
- Establish an emergency action plan and keep an emergency medical authorization from on file.
- Inspect, maintain, and instruct the proper use of sports equipment and check sports facilities on a regular basis.
- Establish warm up/cool down flexibility regimen.
- Create hydration plan.
- Have a heat illness program in place.
- Have a well-stocked first aid kit available at all times.
If Serious Injuries Occur, Coaches Need To:
- Contact EMS Immediately
Answer the dispatcher’s questions that will include the following:
- Where the injured athlete is located.
- Information about the athlete’s problem.
- What is being done to help the athlete?
- The number of the phone you are using to call.
- Where someone will meet them to direct them to the injured athlete.
- Hang up LAST-let EMS hang up first.
- Call the injured athlete’s parent or guardian.
- Follow R.I.C.E. principle
All injuries should be evaluated promptly and treated appropriately. The first aid treatment for most orthopaedic injuries follows the R.I.C.E. principle:
- Rest or immobilization of the injured body part.
- Ice application for a minimum of 15-20 minutes.
- Compression or elastic wrap should be applied to help prevent or decrease swelling.
- Elevation of the injured body area above the level of the heart to decrease swelling.
- Determine When an Injured Athlete Can Resume Sports Activities
- If a child suffers a head or face injury and experiences a headache, impaired vision, ringing in the ears or nausea, he or she should not return to participate until cleared by a physician.
- Athletes should be permitted to return to sports activities only when they can perform as well as before they were injured and can protect themselves from re-injury.
If an athlete has been under a physician’s care, the physician should clear the athlete for participation before the activity status is determined.