The Lack of Preparedness in Youth Sports

An excellent editorial was written in the Des Moines Register entitled "What's missing from too many high school football sidelines" Here is our submission to the Register.

A recent editorial discussed the lack of preparedness in high school football. What most parents do not realize is the same lack of preparedness is the reality in almost all youth (leagues and clubs, ages 5 – 14) sports. These leagues and clubs either have not sideline medical coverage a priority, do not have the financial resources, or both. The unfortunate attitude is “it won’t happen to us” or “we’ve got it covered.”

Some questions for parents:

Why is a “sports physical” required for high school sports, but not youth sports?

Does the organization have an emergency action plan, a heat plan?

Is your child’s emergency contact and medical information immediately available to the coach? If your child needs an EpiPen® or asthma inhaler, are you going to be present at every game and PRACTICE? If not, did you provide consent for the coach to administer the EpiPen® and does the organization have this documented?

Is there a complete remove from play/return to play protocol which documents and communicates every step of the process?

Are the coaches provided proper education on not just concussions, but heat, sudden cardiac arrest, seizures, anaphylaxis, asthma, bleeding, fractures, spine injuries?

Hope is not a preparedness plan.

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