Communication and Preparation = Injury Risk Mitigation
Here are three stories in the last week are examples of the lack of preparedness in youth sports.
“A 9-year-old boy died Sunday after a soccer goal post collapsed at a school in Hell’s Kitchen, fatally striking him in the head.” “Tommaso was playing soccer with a youth church group at the school when a goal post collapsed on him — hitting him in the head and crushing his skull.”
"The local American Youth Football association has been placed on probation and one of its coaches suspended after a 10-year-old player was put back in a game after an EMT said the injured player should stay sidelined."
"Paul Dauderis, president of the Central Massachusetts Youth Football and Cheer Conference (CMYFCC), said a second investigation that concluded Thursday morning found that the town league did not have a protocol in place to ensure EMT/coach communications about injured players."
"He said before this incident, the protocol varied among the 33 associations in about 60 towns that the CMFCC oversees.“Since this event, we have told all our associations that the head coach is to check with the EMT that the player is cleared after each and every injury,” he said. "
"EMTs now are also required to cross the name of any player ruled out off the minimum play sheet, note the time of the game, type of injury and sign the sheet, Mr. Dauderis said."
“Muhammad Hambali Sumathi, 12, then grabbed the overhead crossbar that was more than 2m from the ground, causing the structure to collapse. It struck his head, knocking him unconscious."
“The bleeding boy was rushed to KK Women's and Children's Hospital where he died of a head injury in April.”
“Inspector Ng said the collapsed goal post was bought in 2014 and it had a back bar which could enhance its stability. But the back bar had corroded by April this year.”
“… following this incident, the Ministry of Education issued guidelines to enhance safety pertaining to goal posts in schools.”
“For instance, schools have to attach warning labels to crossbars 1.8m high and above. Foldable goal posts can also no longer be used in schools.”
“… Insp Ng said, the school now has signs to remind students not to push, pull or hang from goal posts.”
“There is always a need to anticipate the possibility that students will use or misuse equipment in an unexpected, unorthodox, or otherwise unsafe manner and expose themselves to injury.”
Parents - check with your child's sports organization. Do they have an Emergency Action Plan? Do they check equipment regularly? Do they have an AED? Do the coaches know CPR? Are you notified immediately of a problem?
Administrators- do you have any tools in place for risk mitigation?