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Sports First Aid Kits

As this author has coached numerous basketball and baseball teams, it always strikes me as unfortunate to see coaches or trainers that are ill-prepared to handle an emergency. The vast majority of sport-related incidences are usually sprains, strains and fractures. However in the summer months, it is not uncommon to see dehydration, heat exhaustion, and rarely but unfortunately, heat stroke victims. The sports first aid kit should clearly contain your basic bandages, 4 x 4’s, Band Aids®, Ace wraps®, splinting material for fingers, reusable ice gel packs which nowadays can be broken, which elicits a chemical reaction to make them cold. This definitely eliminates the need to carry a cooler with you at all times, and are a must to help decrease swelling. They can be placed around the extremity and wrapped with an Ace wrap® over it. Sports first aid kits can be very simple and do not have to be complex because transportation to an clinic or ER is usually extremely expedient. In many cases, doing too much can cause more harm than good. Please remember this when medical professionals are on the way and transportation is imminent. Small things to consider include hair bungees to pull back hair during sports play as we know many individuals forget these, safety pins which definitely help in adhering arms to shirts as a sling.

In the last 10-15 years, we have seen reports of sudden death from heart arrhythmias on the court. Somebody on the basketball team, trainer or assistant coach should be CPR certified and understand what to do in case those situations occur. More and more colleges as well as professional sports are using portable defibrillators which have been extremely beneficial in saving lives. Electrolyte replenishing drinks such as Pedialite are important to have, especially in case of dehydration. Knowing the signs and symptoms of dehydration is important, as well as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Please see for signs and symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration. Perhaps the most important item to be carried in the sports first aid kit is what we carry with us all the time, our common sense and judgment. Keeping a cool head, approaching the athlete in a calm manner to calm down their anxiety and fear, is one of the most important factors in treatment. One must understand that most of these individuals are scared regarding the seriousness of the injury but might not show their fear, as well as the concern of the parents. I cannot emphasize this enough in terms of reassuring parents and the athlete that everything is being done to take care of them before transporting them to a medical facility.



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