The risk of injury in any sport is always present. Parents know this when they sign up their kids to play. However, sometimes parents will blame others for uncontrollable events or for actions perceived to be harmful to their kids. This section is intended to give you some guidelines for keeping injuries or exposures to a minimum.
A participant who responds to an incident or injury should do so in a knowledgeable manner, or defer any action to a party who has expertise in such matters. The following first aid guidelines should help you with the more common first aid techniques used with soccer related injuries.
Whether to call for an ambulance is a judgment call that carries with it anxiety if the degree of injury is unclear. If possible defer the question to the child's parent, or a nurse or doctor on the field. Cell phones can be used to contact parents, advice nurses, or ambulances. Follow first aid procedures and make the judgment based on sound criteria. But when in doubt pass the decision to someone with more expertise, such as an ambulance crew.
Each child is required to provide you with a medical consent form. The consent form is required at every Cal North sponsored event.
There are situations wherein a kid is injured and there is no health care provider or the policy limits are inadequate. For those cases, Cal North maintains an excess accident insurance policy which provides coverage of medical bills up to $300,000 per injury. A copy of Cal North's summary of accident insurance coverage is in the Team Manual and may also be obtained from the Cal North State Office (see sections 3:07:01 and 3:07:02 of the California Youth Soccer Association Constitution and Bylaws).
Common judgment issues and guidelines for these issues are:
- Head injuries resulting in disorientation, vomiting, or the repeating of words, must result in a player remaining out of the game and medical attention must be sought.
- Injuries that result in a rapid swelling usually indicate some type of injury beyond the sprain/strain stage.
- Appropriate action should be based on advice from someone with medical credentials.
- Coaches and referees shall treat all blood and bodily fluids as potentially infectious. Players who have an open and bloody wound cannot play until bleeding has stopped (in the case of a nose bleed) or the bleeding has stopped and is fully covered to protect against possible contact with another player.
- First aid kits shall contain items noted under "First Aid Supplies" in the First Aid Guide of this section. Coaches should have first aid kits available with them at all times.
Leagues can use "special circumstances" for assigning players to allow participation of players with special needs. Accommodations may be made if the league is provided with a written consent from:
- Parents or guardians
- A physician
Some children may be HIV positive or have other potentially infectious diseases. Coaches should treat any acknowledged condition in the confidential manner with which the information is related by the parent or guardian. Other than voluntary admission from the parent or guardian, other discussion about a child's medical condition should be considered as rumors and dealt with as such. Coaches who disclose confidential information may open themselves to civil and criminal court action. Therefore, any public disclosure may not be made without permission from the parent.