As we mentioned in our last blog, sports injuries are highly preventable even though they happen to millions of adolescents and student-athletes each year. While most parents, coaches, and athletic trainers can prevent sports injuries, it is important to know when to perform first-aid for athletes.

The benefits of fast and immediate first-aid for sports injuries includes stabilizing an athlete’s injury, coordinating future treatment, and increasing the effectiveness of treatment and rehab if necessary. So what can parents and athletic staff do to begin first-aid?

We’ve outlined a list of some of the most effective first-aid techniques for address sports injuries below, so you are always prepared for an unexpected injury on the field:

Use P.R.I.C.E to begin immediate first-aid

The P.R.I.C.E method for injury treatment is a helpful acronym that allows individuals to remember the most effective techniques for immediate first-aid:

  • Protection: Make sure the field/court/etc. is safe to begin first-aid. Have an official stop play so trainers and qualified medical personnel can administer care.
  • Rest: Allow the injured limb or area of the patient to rest effectively. Try and avoid putting weight on the injured area in the near future.
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack to an acute injury for 20 minutes at a time. After first-aid most injuries require frequent icing.
  • Compression: Quickly wrap an injured area or limb in a brace or similar compression device to help keep swelling at a minimum.
  • Elevation: When possible, elevate an injured limb to help reduce swelling and blood flow to an injured area.

Follow up with appropriate treatment options for sports injuries

Once you have administered first-aid on an injured athlete, make sure you thoroughly evaluate the necessary treatment option depending upon the status of the injury.

Injuries that require either life-saving or extremely critical medical attention, such as a wound that won’t stop bleeding, should be treated at an emergency room (ER). However, most sports injuries are acute and urgent, which means they require care ASAP but not necessarily from an ER.

Urgent and acute sports injuries should be treated at a nearby urgent care center. For patients and student-athletes located in Stoneham, visit AFC Urgent Care Stoneham for nearby urgent care. We accept patients on a walk-in basis so your child can go directly from the field to our facility without the wait or need for an appointment.

Sports injuries are likely to happen so it makes sense to be prepared with first-aid as well as the best possible treatment option. And remember, urgent care is able to treat a wide variety of injuries without the long wait or high prices of the ER!