4 Essential First Aid Tips for Football

Do you play football?

Or are you involved in related activities?

If so, you need to learn basic Sports First Aid.

From 5-a-side to Champions League, football is a national obsession and the world’s most popular team sport, with over 3.5 billion fans worldwide.

As a contact support, injuries to players are common.

In this post, we’ll go through the most common injuries and how deal with the sports first aid situations you may find during the beautiful game.

Treating a Head Injury

A head injury can occur during a sport as a result of contact between players, objects or even the floor.

What it looks like:

The player has hit their head and might be in pain. They may have a headache, and there may be a bump on the head.

What to do:

  1. Tell the player to rest and apply something cold to the injury
  2. Watch for signs of a concussion. The player might be temporarily unresponsive, dizzy, have a headache, feel confused, feel sick, have blurred vision, or loss of memory
  3. If you suspect head injury, always seek medical advice. Call 999 if necessary.

Treating Strains and Sprains

The most common footballing injuries are to the legs and lower limbs.

What it looks like:

The player will have swelling and/or bruising around a joint or muscle. They may have difficulty moving, or might be limping.

What to do:

  1. Apply an ice pack to the injury. Ice is proven to reduce swelling, bleeding and fluid build-up in soft tissue injuries. Try and mould it to the shape of the body where the injury has occurred
  2. Get the player to rest the injury in a comfortable raised position. If there is no improvement, or continued pain, seek medical advice. Remember – it is impossible to tell the difference between a broken bone and a serious sprain without an x-ray.

Broken Bones

A bad tackle can break a bone.

What it looks like:

The player, following a fall, will have bruising, pain and swelling or might be lying in a unnatural or contorted position.

What to do:

  1. Prevent unnecessary moment by helping the player to support their injury.
  2. Get the player to the hospital. Call 999 if required.

Unresponsive and/or not breathing

Although very rare, there have been some incidents of footballers experiencing cardiac arrest during a match.

What it looks like:

A sudden stop and fall – they are unresponsive when you call their name or shake their shoulders.

What to do

  1. Look for breathing by tilting their head
  2. Call 999
  3. Review our blog post on using an AED

Join a Course

We specialise in First Aid for Sport and Fitness. Unlike other providers we don’t simply do our normal course and add in a few sports incidents.

We have courses specifically developed for sports coaches, fitness instructors teachers and club coaches. We can work with you if you are from most sporting backgrounds – football, rugby, hockey, boxing, fitness and gym instructors, and many more.

Courses are tailored to the needs of teachers, coaches and sports therapists who are at the sharp end. When someone takes a tumble and isn’t getting up, you need to know what to do!

We can run the course at your venue for group sizes of four people upwards and have a progressive suite of courses designed to match your requirements.

Our courses meet the HSE standards for ‘Due Diligence‘ for first aid providers.

Contact Us to book a group course at your venue.