I hear from coaches of youth sports teams or parents whose kids play sports asking about medical supplies for youth sports they should have in case injuries, illnesses or even emergencies occur.
Having paramedics and emergency medical services at every tournament, game or practice would be ideal, but it probably isn’t possible in most cases. I firmly believe that teams and schools should have access to athletic trainers at their practices and games. I have written many times about all they do and why they are so important.
What supplies should be available that parents, coaches can be prepared?
Teams and sports facilities should prepare ahead of time and obtain some basic medical and first aid supplies.
• Cervical collars should be available in several sizes in case a head or neck injury occurs.
• Prepackaged, moldable splints can be applied to fractures quickly and used to stabilize the extremity to more comfortably move and transfer an injured athlete.
• Gauze bandages, gauze rolls, and tape for rapid application to wounds can be helpful.
Coaches should have a list of any medical conditions that the athletes have. For instance, if a child has a serious allergy, the parents and athlete should have injectable epinephrine.
Communication ability is crucial. Coaches and parents should have a cell phone – or a landline if no cell service exists.
Teams should also have an emergency action plan. Organizers should know where the closest hospital is. They should know the phone number of that hospital. A parent can call the emergency department to inform the doctors that someone seriously injured is on the way.
This list represents supplies and actions to help stabilize an athlete until paramedics have arrived. Hopefully you and your team will never need any of these supplies or need to use your action plan.