Sport First Aid Kit: Keep It Stocked and Handy

A sports first aid kit will usually be handled by a sport trainer or a sport therapist. In high-risk or contact sports it will need to be equipped to handle musculoskeletal injuries, including potential head and neck injuries.

Standard items:

  • Space blanket.
  • 1 pair of heavy duty scissors.
  • Cutter with a retractable blade.
  • Elastic wrap bandages (various sizes).
  • Plastic bags for ice.
  • Bandages for cuts and scrapes (various sizes).
  • Blister pads.
  • Sterile gauze pads.
  • Triangular slings (various sizes).
  • Liquid soap.
  • Zinc oxide.
  • Adhesive tape.
  • Safety pins.
  • Elastic tape.
  • Sugar packs for diabetic emergencies.
  • Splints (various sizes).
  • First aid booklet.
  • Several pairs of non-latex gloves (for the rescuer).
  • Rescue breathing barriers.
  • Personal medication along with athlete's information.

These are some additional things to consider for a sport first aid kit:

  • Non-latex gloves (several pairs): to reduce the chance of touching bodily fluids. It is important for the gloves to be non-latex because about 10% of the population is allergic to latex.
  • Face shields for rescue breathing: to reduce the chance of disease transmission. If you will have a first aid oxygen tank then it's important to get a face shield that has an O2 attachment valve.
  • Triangular bandages, about 4-6: used to tie dressing, to create slings, or to tie splints together. These should never be used to apply tourniquets.
  • Sterile dressings of various sizes: used to control bleeding, or to cover a wound to keep it clean.
  • Safety pins: used to pin dressing in place.
  • Adhesive tape: to tape things together.
  • Scissors: for cutting clothing to treat minor injuries.
  • Small sugar packs: for treating hypoglycemic or diabetes.
  • Blanket: to treat for shock. There are some very compact options available. These are called emergency blankets or space blankets.
  • Splints of various sizes in situations where someone may suffer a broken bone on joint injury.
  • Spinal board and cervical collars for potential neck injuries.
  • Defibrillator for dealing with cardiac arrest emergencies. Proper training is needed.
  • Oxygen tank to provide supplemental oxygen. Proper training is needed.
  • Special medication, such as an epi-pen, should be considered. However, prescriptions are usually required to obtain such medications.

In addition to the above, think about:

  • Having an emergency plan in place: how to get help, who will do what and how, etc.
  • Putting someone in charge to make important decisions, such as canceling a game in bad weather.
  • Obtaining medical information on the athletes prior to the activity. This info must be kept confidential and destroyed after the event to protect their right to privacy.
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