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 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.
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.
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.
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.