First aid for sports – Harm-Less New Zealand

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First aid for sports

Don't get caught off-side, or off guard.

Sport is great. It is social, helps to maintain a healthy weight, is a great stress release, and can provide a genuine sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing more exhilarating than winning a big game against your fiercest rivals no matter what sport that is in and sometimes you have to put your body on the line to secure the win.

Let’s face it, part of playing sports is getting the odd bump or lump, scratch or bruise, particularly when you play the contact ones. When that happens, you might find you need to give yourself a little TLC in the form of some first aid care.

So isn’t it better to be prepared so you can get back out there again as soon as possible! We know the sooner you look after yourself, the sooner you can get back to the game you love. After all, you’re there to play, not watch from the side-lines! And that’s why it’s so important to be prepared with your first aid for sports kit.

How do you know what to include in your First Aid For Sports Kit?

Before we make any recommendations about what to include in a first aid kit, we always as a few questions:

  • What are the common injuries sustained with the sports you’re participating in? For example, rugby is a collision sport, so injuries such as cuts and strained tendons can occur. This means you’ll want to include plasters, cohesive bandages and ice-packs in your first aid kit. Motorsport on the other hand, can cause burns and bruises, in which case a specialised motorsport kit is ideal.
  • Will your first aid kit for sports be servicing an individual, a team, or an entire club. If you’re providing first aid for an individual a one person first aid kit will often be sufficient, but for an entire club you’ll want something a lot more comprehensive.
  • What first aid equipment can be used to help mitigate the chances of an injury occurring in the first place? Proper warm-ups and stretching are a given, however strapping using porus paper tape or cohesive bandages  can also be a great way to stabilise joints and restrict joint movement. As an added bonus cohesive bandages and strapping tape can also be used to keep your socks up too!

We also recommend asking these questions to ensure you are well prepared before you need to be:

  • Who are the trained first aiders at the club you’ll be playing at? Regardless of how large or small the club is, they should have at least one trained first aider close by. You need to know this so you know who to approach in the event of an emergency at the club.
  • How isolated the area you’ll be playing in? It’s a good idea to download an Accident and Emergency app prior to the game so you know where to get help if you need it such as .

Here are some of the items we recommend you consider including in your first aid for sports kit (generally not part of a generic first aid kit):

  • Ice packs and heat wraps – Ice Packs are ideal for the first 24-48 hours after a bruising injury, while heat wraps are great for sprains and strains and for bruises older than 48 hours
  • Cohesive bandages – we find these are super versatile and can even be used to keep your socks up!
  • Strapping tape – useful for when you need to stabilise certain areas of the body
  • Splints – to keep an injured body part still until medical help can arrive
  • Antiseptic cream – keep the nasties out, especially if the injury site is likely to be exposed to dirt or other pathogens
  • Plasters – in our experience you can never have too many plasters when it comes to sports so while most generic first aid kits include some plasters, they are usually limited to the standard fabric plasters. 

Have fun out there and remember... be prepared