Injury mitigation and how it supports loss control for your dance program
Dance programs often experience injuries that involve abrasions, cuts, sprains, strains, and contusions. The injuries can vary depending on the program activity.
How to treat a cut with basic first-aid
It is important to have a plan for responding to injuries. Equally important is having someone always present who is trained in CPR and first aid. In addition to trained staff, keeping a well-supplied first-aid kit is another tool that can help support injury mitigation. Consult your local pharmacy to gain insight on a first-aid kit that can address the type of injuries your program might experience.
According to basic first-aid practices, the treatment of a cut involves three primary functions:
- Control bleeding. It is important that the person responding to the injury adhere to safe practices regarding bloodborne pathogens. This should include use of personal protective equipment (PPE), clean-up of the site, and proper disposal of used supplies. Apply pressure for ten to fifteen minutes. If 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 bandage larger than what you have in your first-aid kit, it is recommended you suggest the parents or guardian obtain additional medical care.
How to treat a contusion, sprain, or strain
In the event of a contusion, sprain, or strain, have the participant stop the activity immediately. Next, it is advisable to 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 10 times a day for 10 to 15 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 (elastic 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 the injured body part is iced.
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.
Always document the events leading to the injury, how the injury occurred, and any witnesses present. Report all injuries of students and guests to Markel’s claims department at markel.com/insurance/claims. Timely claim reporting is another component of a healthy injury mitigation and loss prevention effort.
- Small, M.D., Eric. Kids & Sports. Newmarket Press. New York, NY.2002
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