From sprains to strains to scrapes, kids are exposed to all sorts of injuries playing sports.

But while many coaches are prepared to clean a wound based on personal experience, how prepared are they if one their athletes choke on a snack, or runs into the goal post and suffers a head injury?

Preparation for the Worst

Many sports require physical contact which could lead to collisions that result in concussions and head trauma. Any trauma to the head is a potentially serious injury that should never be taken lightly. Head injuries range from concussions, scalp wounds, and skull fractures. The problem is that many athletes don’t realize they have one. And too often, coaches don’t have adequate training to administer first aid, mainly if the head injury involves bleeding.

A coach certified in first aid would know how to spot the symptoms of a concussion and know that the athlete should not return to the field or court under any circumstances. A coach who has undergone first-aid training knows how to react when one of their players has suffered a head injury, as they would check the child’s breathing. If the person is unconscious, stabilize the head and neck, keeping it in line with the spine to prevent movement. And if there is any bleeding, stop it by firmly pressing a clean cloth on the wound.

What should a coach do if the athlete is vomiting because of the injury? What if they are behaving abnormally? When the league’s coaches are first aid trained and faced with a medical emergency, they could save lives.

Going Beyond the Call of Duty

A sports coach responsibilities go beyond just teaching their athletes the fundamentals of the game and how to enhance their skills; a coach’s role involves ensuring the kids’ health and safety. It includes injury prevention and extends to be the first responder to injury.

From minor cuts to concussions to even cardiac arrest, first aid training prepares coaches to react to possible life-threatening injuries. In the event of an emergency, your youth league coaches will be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to deliver assistance in circumstances of minor accidents and potentially life-threatening disasters.

Here are some injuries and treatments coaches can be prepared for through first aid training and certification:

  • CPR
  • Muscle and joint injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Chest pains and heart attacks
  • Bleeding
  • Choking
  • Burns
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cramps
  • Head injuries and concussions
  • Asthma attacks and seizures

First aid training and certification takes only a few hours to complete. And once completed, coaches receive a two-year certification which they can easily renew. Remember, accidents, and other emergency situations can happen anywhere. They can occur at practice, at games, on the road, and even when at a restaurant celebrating a win. A coach’s training extends to family, friends, co-workers, and the community.