While many athletes have gauze, ointment, medical tape, and other traditional medical supplies handy when playing sports, there are other valuable items that are often missing from athletic training kits. Here is a look at six items you likely want in your athletic training kit, most of which will only take up a small space in your bag.
While super glue is great for emergency equipment repairs, such as fixing falling apart cleats or the quick repair of a bicycle tire, super glue can also benefit you medically. A Very Well article from earlier this year discussed how super glue can actually be used on minor cuts. It dries fast and will stay in place well, which will prevent dirt and other things from getting into the wound. Many athletic competitions require the person to exit the game if they are bleeding. The person is often not allowed to return until the bleeding is under control. Because super glue dries so fast, the bleeding issue is often resolved quickly.
One thing to know is that super glue should not be used on deep wounds. It can irritate the skin and cause other problems. Super glue, though, is great for the smaller cuts, particularly those that would otherwise take you out of the game for a significant amount of time. One great thing about including super glue in your medical kit is that it only takes up a small space and only a tiny amount is needed to treat a wound. It can be slipped into a small pocket of your bag. Even when the bag seems already full, you can likely fit a small tube of super glue in somewhere.
Small Sewing Kit
No, you are not going to give yourself stitches or having a friend give you stitches when you suffer an injury during a competition. While your small sewing kit might not help you medically during an athletic competition, it can be valuable for quickly repairing tears in your uniform. In some sports, even a small tear could be pretty devastating, particularly if the tear could get worse during competition. Swimmers can repair rips in their suits. Gymnasts can reattach sequins. Quick repairs can be done for a torn soccer jersey. Although uniforms that are torn or coming apart might not be a medical emergency, they can prevent the athlete from properly participating in competition.
Stronger needles and thread can also be used to quickly repair tears in a tent or sleeping bag, if you are an avid camper and hiker. Like the super glue, your small sewing kit can slip into a tiny space in your athletic training kit.
Tampons and Sanitary Napkins
While tampons and sanitary napkins can be valuable for the unexpected or early menstrual cycle, the real reason you should include one or both in your athletic training kit helps both male and female athletes. Because tampons are so absorbent, they are great for stopping nose bleeds. Simply slip the product up your nose, and you can often return to competition quickly. Sanitary napkins can be used on a larger cut to stop the bleeding. Simply put it on your cut, and attach it securely in place using medical tape. The bigger pads are going to work best, but you will not need the ones with wings. Several tampons can fit in a small space in your bag, and you can likely shove two or three sanitary napkins in the corner of your bag.
Old Credit Card
No, you do not need to bring along an old credit card to make an emergency medical purchase. If you are playing an outdoor sport, particularly one in the grass, such as soccer, football, or rugby, you may encounter bees. Unfortunately, you or someone else may get stung by one while playing. Luckily, you can use a credit card to remove a bee or wasp stinger. While tweezers, which are often included in a medical kit, will get out the stinger, they may also squeeze some of the venom into the wound, making it hurt and swell more. Instead, take the card, and scrape the edge along the surface of the skin. The stinger will come out without releasing more of the stinger's venom.
Of course, you do not necessarily need to use a credit card. Debit cards, driver's licenses, and even your library card or another similar card will work. Because most people carry a wallet with at least one of these cards in it, you may not need to make a conscious effort to include a card in your medical kit. Instead, simply having your wallet in an easily accessible place could be good enough. If, though, you do participate in sports in an area where people are often stung, you may want to consider keeping an old, expired credit or debit card on hand to use specifically for removing stingers.
Having emergency information handy is especially important if you play a contact sport where concussions or other head injuries are common. While you may not be knocked unconscious by a collision, you could become disoriented. You may want to tape a list of emergency contacts on the outside of your bag or at least let a teammate know where they are in your bag. You may want to laminate the information or put it in a waterproof bag. If you have allergies, that should also be included on your emergency information list.
Having this information readily available will allow you to get emergency treatment quicker and prevent emergency personnel from administering medication that may actually harm you. If you have a severe allergy, particularly to something you are likely to encounter, it is also a good idea to make sure your teammates, coaches, trainers, and others around you know about your allergy or allergies. Then you can get emergency medical treatment faster. If you have serious allergies, your athletic training kit should also include an EpiPen.
Extra Braces or Wraps
While your athletic training kit will probably already include an assortment of wraps and maybe even a few braces, it is a good idea to take into consideration your own medical needs. Do you often injure your knee? Do you have chronic ankle sprains? Have you suffered repeated elbow injuries? Think about how you most often get injured while playing sports. With that in mind, double or triple up on those items you are most likely to need. Be careful, though, of going overboard. While having ten or twelve knee braces might be a little excessive, it would also be bad to loan out your one knee brace to a teammate and then twist your knee while you are involved in a particularly intense game of basketball.
Of course, there are other items you will also want to include in your athletic training kit. Finding the perfect assortment of supplies for your kit is often a matter of trial and error, considering what sport or sports you play most as well as where you play them. For example, while sunscreen is a great addition to the athletic training kit of someone who plays soccer outdoors several days a week, it wastes space in the indoor swimmer’s bag.
Whether you need help starting an athletic training kit or you just want to expand upon the one you already have, contact us. We have already created kits, or you can customize the kit to fit your own needs. We also have braces and wraps to make your athletic experience more enjoyable and safer.