Sports First Aid & Safety
Sports are important but being educated in sports first aid is "importanter".
I'm not a medical professional; no direct medical advice here.
Do you know what an AED is? What do you do if your athlete complains of blurred vision and a consistent flashing light after taking an elbow to the eye? Can you define the Emergency Action Steps? What if your athlete complains of being really thirsty, has a dry mouth, and is nauseous, then it progresses to a headache, and abdominal pain and his breath smells sweet and fruity?
In many situations, the coach is the one in charge when an athlete gets injured. Without proper medical training, the coach could be the one that makes a life-altering mistake. A simple mistake of attempting to help a kid roll over after failing to identify a neck injury or "forcing" a player to "tough it out" after complaining of abdominal pains, which turns out to be a ruptured spleen, could be catastrophic.
It's imperative the coach understand what steps to take when a fly ball gashes open an outfielder's eye or an elbow in basketball breaks two front teeth of a defender. It's equally important to understand your medical capabilities and limitations, what you can and can't treat (both from your training and what's legal).
While our athletes are the primary concern at our practices and games, we can't ignore the families, and extended families on the sidelines.
The first step for anyone coaching on any level is to get certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid / AED/CPR through the American Red Cross.
If you wish to learn more, there are a few online courses you can take to help yourself be prepared when a player becomes injured.
Human Kinetics has a Sports First Aid course designed for coaches. It's an in-depth course outlining some of the most common sports injuries and how to best treat them. The course is currently $50 but it's absolutely worth the money. Below are links to a few other courses.