South Windsor Soccer Club

The first line of defense in the treatment of athletic injuries is to prevent them. A well-planned program accomplishes this: competition among equal ability groups, proper warm-up, and adherence to the Laws of the Game. Other factors that can lead to the prevention of injuries are as follows:

  • Proper use of equipment (shin guards, no jewelry, uniforms designed for climate).
  • Upkeep and monitoring of playing surfaces.
  • Proper fitting shoes/boots.
  • Ample water supply and sufficient number and length of rest periods.
  • Avoid scheduling practice during the hottest periods of the day and when there is intense humidity.
  • Full rehabilitation of an injury prior to return to play, determined by a physician.
  • Recommendation of a physical exam by qualified personnel prior to participation.

The coach or assistant coach should be responsible for assisting with injuries, which includes attending a certified first aid course and knowledge of state and local ordinances.

It is recommended that the coach follow-up a player's injury with a conversation with the player's parent.

Each coach should have and know how to use a First Aid Kit that includes, but is not limited to: ice packs, band-aids aids, antiseptic, sterile pads, towelettes, gauze pads, and gloves (care should be given to avoid contact with blood and body fluids and to use proper disposal of items soaked with such fluids).

INJURED PLAYER POLICY

When a player is injured and the condition affects the player's ability to physically compete or train with the team, the following guidelines are used by the coach and parent of the player to discuss and agree to the extent of the injury.

Medical Clearance is required for temporary to severe injuries - All players are required to provide written verification from a medical doctor stating they are cleared or released to resume train and play. The written verification is to be presented to the coach and submitted to the club.

Care
The care of the injured athlete should begin the moment an injury occurs. Immediate care will reduce the severity of the injury and the possibility of long-term disability. The coach, upon seeing an injured player on the field should:

  • Stay composed.
  • Make sure that the airway is clear.
  • Determine if the player is conscious.
  • Determine how the injury occurred.
  • Question the player to determine the location and severity of the injury.
  • If the player is unable to continue, assist him/her to the sideline unless it is a head injury, then do not move and call for emergency help.

After determining that the injury IS NOT life threatening, the nature of the injury can be further determined.

  • Note the position of the injured part.
  • Look for swelling and deformity.
  • Compare it with the opposite side.
  • Do not move the injured body part.

Treatment for minor injuries such as sprains, strains, and contusions is referred to as R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). R.I.C.E. treatments should occur immediately after the injury and a general rule is to ice for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off - three consecutive times. The treatment helps in three different ways:

  • Applying Ice to the injured area causes the blood vessels to constrict, limiting circulation to the injured area.
  • Applying Compression with an elastic bandage inhibits the accumulation of blood and fluids in the area; thereby, minimizing pain and swelling.
  • Resting & Elevating the injured area decreases fluid accumulation, and helps to reduce muscle spasms.

Heat Injuries Coaches Should Be Aware of:

  • Heat Cramps - an involuntary contraction of the muscle or a muscle group that is repetitive and rapid in nature. Care - rest, drink water, and stretching.
  • Heat Exhaustion - surface temperature approximately normal, skin pale and clammy, profuse perspiration, tired, and weak, headache - perhaps cramps, nausea, dizziness, possible vomiting and possible fainting (the player will most likely regain consciousness as the head is lowered). Immediate Care - move to a cool area, air-conditioning best, have the player lie down with feet elevated, remove restrictive apparel as appropriate, cool with wet cloths or by fanning, if alert - water may be given (1/2 glass per 15 minutes), if player vomits - take to hospital immediately and always refer to physician for further diagnosis, treatment and prior to return to activity.
  • Heat Stroke - body temperature is high, skin is hot, red and dry, sweating mechanism is blocked, pulse is rapid and strong, player may lose consciousness. Immediate Care - seek immediate medical care (Call 911), while waiting; treat as above for heat exhaustion keeping in mind that if you reduce the body temperature too rapidly it can cause internal bleeding.

General Principles When Handling An Injured Player:

  • Avoid panic; use common sense; seek professional help.
  • Check for breathing, bleeding, consciousness, deformity, discoloration, and shock.
  • Dependent upon the nature of the injury, avoid moving the player.
  • Inspire confidence and reassure the player; determine how the injury occurred.
  • Use certified athletic trainers when available; always ERR on the side of caution.
  • It is recommended that if a player has had medical attention, he/she must have written permission from the doctor to return to activities.