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Emergency Medical Plan: Essential For Youth Sports Safety


An emergency medical plan should include an established set of actions to follow in the event of amedical emergency during a youth sports practice or game.

The plan should identify:

  • Who will provide emergency first aid, including using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in the event a player or spectator goes into cardiac arrest, such as from a blow to the chest causing commotio cordis.
  • Who and how paramedics or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be called, with specific directions to give to EMS to where the game or practice is being held.
  • Who will monitor non-injured members of the team during an emergency
  • How parents and a player's family physician will be notified in the event of an emergency

The plan should also make sure that:

  • Emergency medical devices are available, including:
    • AEDs
    • Rescue inhalers, peak flow meters (or portable spirometers) for each athlete with asthma (in case of emergencies, a nebulizer should also be available).
    • EpiPen®for those children with severe allergies are readily available at all times and that coaches are educated in their use
  • Coaches/team moms/athletic trainers are familiar with appropriate community resources, and have a fully functional telephone (mobile or cellular) available, pre-programed with emergency medical care access numbers.
  • Emergency phone numbers and a list of medical conditions for each player are readily available at all practices and games.
  • Emergency numbers at which players parent(s) or guardians can be reached in case of emergency
  • Medical release/treatment authorization forms for every player.

Practice makes perfect

Programs should practice emergency plans early in the season and repeat often throughout the season.

Updated November 17, 2011



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