Coaches and educators

Understanding that you will be caring for a child with a bleeding disorder may cause anxiety, fear and uncertainty. As you know, every child needs education, social interaction with peers, exercise, and healthy outlets for stress. A child with a bleeding disorder is no different.

To be fully prepared for care of this child, it would be helpful to meet with parents of the child with a bleeding disorder prior to the start of the school year or sports season. The following items can help guide that discussion:

  • Contact information – general contact needs as well as emergency situations
  • How to recognize and report a bleeding episode or injury
  • Actions to take in the event of bleeds or injuries
  • Privacy issues
  • Role of school nurse or point person if there is no school nurse
  • Storage of factor and supplies at the school
  • Absences
  • Physical education, sports, and class trips

As a coach or educator, it is important to focus on what the child with a bleeding disorder can do rather than focus on any limitations.

What is hemophilia

Hemophilia is a hereditary, lifelong blood disorder in which the blood clots more slowly than normal. Normally, when an injury occurs that causes bleeding, our bodies respond by clotting (coagulating) the blood so the bleeding slows down and eventually stops. People with hemophilia have a deficiency of a blood protein called clotting factor, and their blood does not clot fast enough.

RICE for treating injuries

If a child has a bleed while in your care, follow the care plan set with the parents. If you are waiting for a parent or healthcare professional to arrive and administer factor when a bleed occurs, you can follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) plan for temporary relief.

R = REST Stop the activity, infuse clotting factor or medication and protect the body part. To rest the injured area, a sling, splint, crutches or a wheelchair may be needed for several days to several weeks after an injury.
I = ICE Ice or cold packs are useful in slowing the bleeding, reducing inflammation and reducing pain. Heat should not be applied to an area that is bleeding, hot or swollen.
C = COMPRESSION Compression with soft elastic supports helps reduce swelling and pain.
E = ELEVATION Elevation above the level of the heart reduces swelling.

For a detailed guide to aid in caring for a child with a bleeding disorder,