Injury mitigation and how it supports loss control
Dance risk management news - Vol. 1, 2019
Markel insures a number of youth related programs that offer activities that may facilitate some form of injury to its participants. The injuries can vary depending on the program activity. Often injuries reported involve fractures, strains and sprains, cuts and potential concussions. For dance programs, injuries often involve sprains, strains and contusions.
This newsletter will have a specific focus on injury mitigation for strains, sprains, contusions and fractures. You can learn more about concussion management strategies by visiting Markel’s resource library or visit “Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports”.
Loss control is defined as a risk management technique that seeks to reduce the possibility that a loss will occur and/or reduce the severity of those that do occur. For the purposes of this article, injury mitigation involves the alleviation or reduction of the severity of an injury that occurs.
For any youth serving program, it is most important to have a plan for responding to injuries. Equally important is the practice of having someone present, at all times, who is trained in CPR and first-aid. Their degree of first-aid training can vary depending on the type of activities your business offers. In addition to training, having a well-supplied first-aid kit is another valuable tool that can help support injury mitigation. Consult your local pharmacy, certified athletic trainer, or industry standards to gain insight on a first-aid kit that can address the type of injuries your program might experience.
Having someone on staff that is trained in first-aid will help you determine if you should call “911” for professional emergency services, or if it is an injury that you may be able to treat on site. These may often involve cuts, contusions, sprains, and strains.
If there is an obvious fracture, torn ligament or injury that concerns you; “911” should be contacted immediately.
According to basic first-aid practices, the treatment of a cut involves three primary functions.
- Control bleeding. This can be done by applying direct pressure to the wound using a sterile gauze compress or dry cloth.(It is important that the person responding to the injury adhere to safe practices in regards to blood borne pathogens.This would include use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), clean-up of the site and proper disposal of any supplies used.It is recommended that you keep a pair of latex gloves in your first-aid kit to use for these particular situations.)Apply pressure for 10-to-15 minutes.If the bleeding has not stopped by then, it is recommended that you dial “911”.
- Clean the wound. Once bleeding has stopped, rinse the wound with clean water.
- Bandage the wound. If the wound requires a Band-Aid larger than what you have in your first-aid kit, then it is recommended you suggest the parents or guardian obtain additional medical care from a doctor or emergency care center. Otherwise, apply a Band-Aid sufficient enough to cover the wound completely.
In the event of a contusion, sprain or strain have the participant stop the activity immediately. Then you can reduce the severity of the injury by implementing R.I.C.E. principles. R.I.C.E. is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. As outlined by Kids and Sports:
- Rest. The participant must rest the injury and not make it worse.
- Ice. Ice is applied to the injured area up to ten times a day for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. This will reduce the swelling. Swelling may occur at the end of the day for up to several months after a severe acute injury.
- Compression. This concept refers to placing pressure (Ace bandage, supportive taping, or other brace) around the involved joint to give it support and prevent further injury. Compression should be applied during the day and especially while trying to bear weight on the injury.
- Elevation. After an injury elevate the injured body part above the heart. This will prevent pooling of fluids and more swelling. Elevation can be done four to five times per day at the same time while the inured child is icing the injured body part.
Be mindful that some injuries may be more severe than they initially appear. Therefore, it is always a good practice to recommend a parent or guardian have their child assessed by a medical professional before returning to the activity that caused the injury in the first place.
Should an injury occur at your program, document the events leading to the injury, how the injury occurred and any witnesses present. It is recommended that you report all injuries of students and guests to our claims department. Whether it turns into a claim against your program or not, we are now aware of the potential claim. Timely claim reporting is another component of a healthy injury mitigation and loss prevention effort. You can report any potential claim to Markel’s claim department online or by calling 800-362-7535.
- Small, M.D., Eric. Kids & Sports. Newmarket Press. New York, NY.2002