Back-to-school means back to practice season for Iowa’s student athletes. Some of those students will end up in emergency rooms with sports-related injuries.

Liz Dorland, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, says that type of injury accounts for 20% of all ER visits for young people.

The agency is offering a series of courses which coaches, parents and others can take so they’ll know how to treat sport-related injuries.

Dorland, at the Red Cross office in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says there are several courses available in the online series, including one specifically geared for teens and adults who will coach at any level.

“It’s very highly-skilled,” she says. “It’s developed with the National Federation of State High School Associations. The course covers first aid skills, including breathing emergencies and serious injuries to muscles, bones and joints. We encourage everyone, but coaches especially, to take the CPR/AED course that we offer as well.”

Dorland says the courses were developed to inform those who are involved in sports to be prepared for emergencies. One class is labeled as the family first aid/CPR course.

“Participants will be able to learn how to treat any type of cardiac event, breathing, first aid emergencies, until help arrives,” she says.

There is also a First Aid App that is free to download on smartphone and tablets which gives users instant access to information on how to handle all types of first aid emergencies.

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