Comprehensive First Aid Measures for Sports Teams

Posted by admin on October 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm. Filed under: First Aid

If you coach a sports team then you will know that injuries are a very common problem. Indeed, most people who actively participate in exertive sports (especially contact sports) will experience an injury of some kind at one time or another.

Naturally, it is part of your role as coach to ensure there are measures in place which can help to mitigate the effects of injuries. To achieve this, you will need to have suitably qualified first aiders on hand as well as comprehensively stocked first aid kits.

But what does ‘comprehensively’ actually mean? Well, it simply means that your first aid kit needs to be well stocked with a variety of relevant items, rather than just a smattering of dressings and plasters.

To be truly comprehensive, a sports first aid kit should ideally include:

Medical tools
Medical tools are an underappreciated yet vitally important part of any first aid kit. Some of the most important tools to have in a sports first aid kit include: bandage scissors (which are designed with a flat, blunt tip to slip under tight clothes or bindings); sharp pointed scissors (which are used to cut through clothes and bandage tape); and, tweezers (which are used to remove foreign objects from wounds).

Ointments & cleansing agents
It is always handy to have a variety of ointments and cleansing agents in your sports first aid kit. Indeed, saline solutions, sterile cleansing pads, burn ointment and insect sting relief sprays can all be invaluable in sporting scenarios. Sunscreen too can be a worthwhile addition, especially when you are training outside for long periods on sunny days.

Thermometer
A digital or mercury oral thermometer can be an important feature of your sports first aid kit, especially if you are responsible for a youth sports team that is playing outdoor tournaments in the summer. An elevated body temperature is an indication of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, so having the ability to quickly assess the temperature of your athletes when they are competing in hot conditions can be vital to their well-being.

Bandages/dressings/splints
Any sports first aid kit must have a variety of sizes of adhesive bandage items as well as more specialised variants for fingers, elbows and knees. Sterile gauze pads, gauze roll, bandage tape, cotton tipped applicators, gauze eye pads and finger splints can also come in very handy for a wide range of sports injuries.

Additional items
There are a few additional medical supplies which you as a coach would do well to have in your sports first aid kit. Indeed, you will most certainly need to have a good supply of protective gloves, safety pins and cold compresses in your kit bag, as these are perennial necessities for practically all sports. You would also be well advised to have a mouth barrier or pocket mask available for CPR purposes and an Epi-pen to help combat allergic reactions.

Your team’s well-being is your responsibility – so make sure you’re suitably prepared.

 

First Aid Essentials for Backpackers

Posted by admin on October 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm. Filed under: First Aid

In a previous blog, we talked about how you could work out what your specific first aid requirements might be for a long or short backpacking journey. In this blog, we are going to highlight the first aid supplies that you absolutely must have in your backpack, regardless of where you’re going or how long you’re going to be away for.

Quite simply, the below items should be considered as first aid essentials for backpackers:

Electrolyte replacement powder or dissoluble tablets
Endlessly trudging around looking for cheap hostels makes you sweat buckets when you have a great big heavy pack on your back. Sweating profusely, especially in humid environments, can lead to you becoming dehydrated and suffering with vomiting and diarrhoea. Replacement powders and dissoluble tablets can help you to avoid this unenviable situation as they ensure your body retains the minerals and salts it needs to remain healthy.

Plasters
Plasters are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes these days. The long strips of fabric tape that have padding already in place are often very handy for backpackers as they can be cut to any length and then be sealed with adhesive tape for extra strength.

Adhesive tape
Paper adhesive tape is always a good option as you don’t need scissors to cut it – it will simply tear by using your fingers or giving it a quick bite! Naturally, you need to ensure the tape you purchase is high-quality as you won’t want it to become brittle or lose its stickiness while it is stored away for months on end.

Dressings and bandages
Although dressings are available in a wide range of sizes, it can be a good idea to opt for bigger sizes as these can be cut to size as needed, thereby saving you space. A good triangular bandage is always handy to have as it can be used as a sling, as padding, and for strapping limbs to splints in the event of a suspected fracture.

Curved scissors
Scissors are always handy things to have at hand. Curved medical scissors can be especially handy in an emergency as they have no sharp ends – this means that, even if you start to get a bit flustered, you can cut clothes away from an injury site without having to worry about causing further harm.

Antiseptic wipes/latex gloves/saline solution
These three essentials can all be invaluable when it comes to treating wounds. Protective gloves will ensure that any possibility of cross-contamination is kept to an absolute minimum; whilst antiseptic wipes will help you to sterilise and clean small wounds before dressing them (they’re also good for cleaning your mouth after a hearty meal!). 10ml vials of saline solution can also be very handy in this respect as they are great for washing wounds as well as irrigating foreign bodies out of your eyes.

Storing these essentials in your pack will ensure you have the minimum capability needed to treat minor backpacker-related injuries and health issues.

 

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