The new school years means school athletes – and after-school sports – will be back in play. Be ready for the inevitable bumps and bruises and prepared for more serious injuries by updating your home health kit. These suggestions come from sports medicine specialist Thomas Vangness, M.D., a professor of orthopaedic surgery at USC and team doctor for the Trojans football team. He says your kit should include:
- Band-Aids: Clean the wound and surrounding area with soap and water before applying.
- Ace Wraps: Learn to properly wrap an injured ankle, hand or arm, wrapping the bandage lightly around the area to keep swelling down until you can get medical care.
- Ice Bags: Zip lock bags full of ice work as well as store-bought packs. Apply to swollen areas for 20 minutes at a time – 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off – for 72 hours following injury. Do not use heat.
- Contact Lists: Include all doctors your child has visited in the past year. Also list how to contact both parents or a guardian with work and cell numbers, and include the number of your insurance company. Keep this list updated.
- Allergy List For Your Entire Family: It is easy to get stressed when dealing with an injured child. This can make you forget the simple things, including allergies. And an adult member of the family has an allergy to something like Latex, there is a slight chance a younger member of the family will have the same allergy.
- Crutches Or Canes From Past Injuries: Hold onto these. You never know when you might need them to take the weight off for a few days while recuperating.