As the school term approach summer holidays, it's that time of the year teachers and support staff usually prepare for the annual sports day. A great opportunity to get pupils teachers, parents and supporters together for a fun day of activities, team bonding, competitive sporting events and of course an odd injury or two requiring first-aid immediate attention. Here are some key areas sports day planners need to cover to keep everyone safe and happy from the first whistle to the medal ceremony.
Watch the heat
We all know sports day isn’t always blessed with good weather, although in the event when the sun does makes an appearance, cranking up the mercury by a few uncomfortable notches one must be prepared. There are no national temperature guidelines available that restrict children from playing outdoor sports on extremely hot days. This is where common sense, assessing and gauging the heat will tell you if it’s safe to proceed. It goes without saying to ensure plenty of shaded areas for spectators and participants to escape the heat. A must on such days are sunhats, plenty of water to maintain hydration and sun cream to stave off symptoms of heatstroke or sunburn.
First aid provision
Pre planning prior to the event day is imperative. Always go the extra mile by providing adequate first aid provisions with immediate access to fully stocked medical kits. Minor injuries and accidents can be treated at the scene, such as small grazes, bruises or sprains. Professional medical help should be sought for more serious incidents, especially if they involve bangs to the head, breathing problems or potential broken bones. In addition, spectators may bring their own snacks and sun creams that could cause allergic reactions to children or others present. This is where first aiders must be aware of children that need epi-pen in treating anaphylaxis reactions and have specialist kits easily accessible at all times.
Tug of war
This is a perennially popular sports day event, with parents and teachers often taking part alongside children. It’s great fun and usually passes without incident, although it’s highly recommended to take precautions beforehand. Arrange for the two teams to be closely matched in strength for an even contest and to avoid one team pull the other too abruptly, risking injury. Playing on an even field is advised removing any stones or stray objects. Advise participants not to wrap the rope around their hands or their legs that may restrict blood flow to the area.
Such days call for suitable clothing for participating in active sports. Anyone competing in the sun should cover up vulnerable areas such as shoulders with a short-sleeved top in place of a vest. Pupils should remove all jewellery including earrings, necklaces and watches to minimise injury to themselves and others around them.
Ramadan begins in early June, and with it comes the observance of many Muslims fasting during daylight hours. This could affect Muslim pupils old enough to participate in fasting who may feel physically weak due to limited intake of food and water during the day, risking hypoglycaemia or also known as low blood sugar. The Muslim Council of Great Britain advises pupils observing Ramadan should avoid physical exertion as much as possible.