Coaching Staff and Sports Saftey
Online Safety Course for Youth Athletic Coaches
PREPARE is a safety course designed to teach athletic coaches information about injury prevention and the steps to take when an injury occurs. It is not practical to have medical personnel at every sports practice and game, but protecting children athletes from injuries is.
What is PREPARE?
PREPARE is a safety course designed for coaches. It teaches them how to prevent and handle injuries. It teaches basic details about first aid; head, neck and facial injuries: and warm-up and cool down routines. This safety course is offered online through the National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS) and is a three hour course. The NCSS is an organization that promotes injury prevention in youth athletics. For those interested in learning in a classroom setting, there are health care professionals that teach the course in this manner.
As a parent of an athlete, it is your responsibility to find out the safety regulations and requirements of the leagues your children are involved in. It is extremely important for all coaches of all sports to receive proper education about injury prevention. If safety courses are not required, parents should make suggestions to the leagues.
· CPR. This should be a number one priority. Coaches should be trained in this and other basic first aid activities.
· Emergency Plan. Parents can also suggest that the league develop a plan for emergencies.
· First Aid Kits. Parents should push for first aid kits to be available at all times during all athletic events, including games and practices. The kits should be easy to access and all coaches should have access to them.
· Hydration. Parents should take the responsibility of ensuring that children athletes have the proper amount of fluids available at all times.
Make Safety Courses Mandatory
The PREPARE safety course is not currently mandatory in all states and for all sports leagues, although several states are beginning to require that all coaches complete this course before they begin coaching. All parents should make sure that there is some type of safety requirements with the coaches of their children.
Coaches with proper training in safety will be able to handle injuries better, and many injuries may actually be prevented. It is the children’s safety that is at risk. Without educating coaches, the number of injuries is likely to steadily increase yearly. Sports leagues need to take a step in the direction of mandating safety courses into the requirements of all coaches.