General First AidSoccer is one of the safest youth sports, but as in any sport, injuries do occur. The coach is responsible for treating the injuries properly, in accordance to the extent of the coach's knowledge. Remember, we are not qualified athletic trainers, and in most cases, we will only be guarding against further injury until qualified help is obtained.
How You Act Is ImportantDepending on the seriousness of the injury, the player may be frightened as well as being in pain. A coach should remain calm, use common sense, and react with confidence and reassurance.
What To Do First1. DO NOT move a player until you have determined how seriously he/she is injured. 2. Ask the player where they have pain. Note: Do not ask the player, "does it hurt here" because the player will likely say "yes".
3. Observe the injury by looking for symptoms (Ex. bruising, swelling).
4. If the injury is minor, treat it (ex. ice, Band-Aid), as long as you have the medical permission form signed by a parent, allowing you to do so.
5. If the injury is serious or if you are unsure, get trained assistance IMMEDIATELY.
Minor InjuriesMinor injuries would include bumps, bruises, scrapes, minor cuts, slight sprains or strains, and barked shins. Remember the following acronym: RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) R= REST is nature's way of healing an injury. It may be necessary to remove a player from a game or practice. I= ICE is very good to use on minor injuries because it reduces pain and swelling. C= COMPRESSION is used on bleeding injuries by putting direct pressure on the wound. A clean cloth or sterile gauze pad should be used in cases such as this.
E= ELEVATION of the injured limb reduces the blood flow which reduces
swelling and pain.
Major InjuriesWhen a major injury is suspected, the player should not be moved until qualified help arrives in order to prevent further injury.
Types Of Major Injuries1. Broken Back or Neck: Symptoms include severe back or neck pain with possible paralysis of limbs. 2. Compound Fracture: A compound fracture is a broken bone protruding through the skin.
3. Extended Period Of Unconsciousness: Should a player receive a blow to the head which results in dizziness, incoherence or a short period of unconsciousness, the player should be removed from the game and returned to his/her parents.
When trying to determine the extent of a head injury, ask the player questions which would require the use of numbers in the answer (ex. How many fingers am I holding up? What is today's date?) or questions about the game. If the player has difficulty answering the questions, take the aforementioned action.
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