At the very least, you want the parents to make the call after a field injury if their child should return to the game.
My kids get nosebleeds. We refer to them as “gushers.” For the uninitiated, it looks like they are bleeding out at a frightening rate. The real issue, though, is keeping the blood off their uniforms, because they can’t go back into to play during a game with blood stained clothes, and they definitely want to keep playing once their nose bleed ends. My kids know what to do when the nosebleed ensures, but on the field, invariably, no one has tissues, and sometimes my car is parked quite a distance away. Even if I jog to my car, they are literally holding the blood in their cupped hands as it streams down, trying to keep it off their clothes. Finally, I made them each a “nose bleed kit” for their sports backpacks. I include four packs of travel tissue packs, one pack of baby wipes, bandaids, and an ice pack. It usually gets used at least once per season, either for themselves to help out a teammate.
Creating Your Medical Emergency Plan
Concussions are top of mind for any coach. If an athlete hits her head on anything, she’s done. You can’t have her come back in.
What if the wind is knocked out of her? This is when an assistant coach or an assigned rotating parent helper provides another set of hands during a game or practice. I have that person sit with the player while you call 911.
What’s your emergency plan? It’s best to create this before the season begins and I recommend the following:
- Cell phone numbers of all the parents. Make sure to get both parents.
- If you don’t have an assistant coach, set up a parent rotation for at least the games for someone to sit with the players and help out.
- A medical kit to take to practices and games.
- A medical procedure plan that is part of the email communication of expectations to parents.
Medical Procedure Plan
For each type of injury, what is the plan?
Head Injury/Concussion: Player sits out. No exceptions.
Possible Fracture: Player comes off field after an injury, and the coach talks to the parent for their permission if the player wants to return to the game. You’ll need the parents’ cell phone number if the player, for example, car pooled, and doesn’t have a parent on the sidelines. You want a clear plan of who makes the call if the player goes back in. A fracture isn’t always obvious until post game from an X-Ray in the emergency room and the coach doesn’t necessarily want to make the call of whether or not the player can return to the game because of liability.
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