The safety of children is the main concern of any parent; and when training in sports, you want to know that your child is in an environment which is safe and well-prepared for any potential occurrences which may see a student requiring medical attention.
To help you have confidence in the procedures and protocols your child’s school has in place for safe sport practice, we share the top questions below that you should be asking your child’s school so you know that a student’s safety and well-being is at the heart of their learning environment.
- Is there a First Aid trained member of staff on site always?
Find out exactly how many first aiders there are on site at your child’s school and how many are present during sporting training and activities. First aid covers anything from a sprained ankle to choking and so immediate care must be available to prevent the worsening of any injuries and even to promote survival in the event of an emergency.
- Does the school have emergency protocol for incidents?
Effective protocols are key for ensuring the safety of any sports training facility, schools included. Every team should have a well-communicated and written up emergency action plan so all team members and sports coaches are aware of the actions needed in the event of a serious injury or medical emergency.
This plan should be reviewed regularly and checked by your local EMS (Emergency Medical Service) ; emergency equipment, first aid supplies and qualified members of staff to assist with medical care should also be included in this.
- Is all the equipment safe for use?
A regular check that all sporting equipment is fit for purposes can help to prevent any potential accidents and injuries. Court flooring and gymnastic apparatus are just some of core components of any sporting activity which should be checked to ensure everything is in safe working order.
- Are the coaches qualified?
Similar to having a first aider nearby at all times, it is important that all coaches and volunteers not only have a background and extensive knowledge of the sport they are coaching but are also trained in CPR and have a first aid qualification.
For safe practice, strict sporting rules must be enforced by the coaches and should a medical emergency occur, coaches should be able to begin the required care to help reduce further injury and encourage recovery until further medical assistance arrives.
- Where is the nearest AED located?
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the number 1 killer of student athletes in the United States; it is the number 1 cause of death on school campuses and affects 9,500 youths every year. It is because of this that AEDs are imperative to have on all school and sporting grounds to help increase chances of survival against this condition.
SCA can affect anyone of any age and health; currently, up to 95% of SCA victims die due to the lack of an AED which is the only definitive treatment to secure survival following collapse. An AED, when used effectively along with CPR can increase a victim’s chances of survival from 6% to 74% when treatment is applied within the first 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest.