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Medical ID Bracelet - Asked to Remove Tonight for Soccer

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by momandwifeoftype1s, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. momandwifeoftype1s

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    I know that this topic has been discussed before (sorry!), but it was my first time to have this happen to Connor. He had a U8 (under 8) soccer game tonight through the rec center, and the umpire made him remove his metal ID bracelet in order to play. My husband was at the game while I was at a meeting for work, so I was not there to ask about this policy on the spot. I do know that Brian informed the umpire that it is a medical ID bracelet, and the umpire still made him remove it.

    My question is... can someone please direct me to the thread where a person who has an official answer has chimed in to provide their input about this situation? I would like to know if I should pick this battle or not. What do you think?

    I sent an e-mail to the Ask a Ref section of the rec center's website. This is what I wrote. Do you think this is reasonable? Thank you for your input.

    My son was asked by one of your umpires to remove his medical alert ID bracelet at tonight's U8 soccer game. The umpire was told by my husband that it is a medical ID bracelet, but my son was still forced to take it off in order to play. He has a life-threatening medical condition. Can you please direct me to your league written policy regarding removing medical IDs for soccer games? I would like something in writing to address this issue.
     
  2. MommaRetta

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    Don't we have our kids wear the Med ID's for emergencies? And don't emergencies happen during games? And sometimes, the first people out there are either the Ref or the Coach? And then the parent? Of course, not us CWD parents! :D we'll be right there too but usually we're on the stands and it takes us a few seconds/minutes to get there. I believe taking it off only negates the purpose of them wearing it to begin with. Plus the older they get on the field the more time it would take parents to get to the field. I'm thinking worse case scenario here. Like during a high school or college game.
    If the child takes it off during the game now, he think he needs and that it is acceptable to take it off for every game from now on. That's asking for disaster in my opinion.

    I'm very curious to hear the response you get.

    I imagine they have a 'blanket' rule that there should be 'no jewelry'. However, they need to exhibit some common sense regarding individual children.
    Bling Bling - bye bye
    Med ID Alert Bracelet - not so much!

    Hopefully someone here can put our minds at ease. Or let me know if I'm too far off base.
     
  3. goochgirl

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    Gosh you were polite. I would have raised a stink and asked to see written policies on the spot while screaming words like, "ADA, lawyers, life support," and popping chocolate to calm my nerves so I didn't throttle the idiot!
     
  4. momandwifeoftype1s

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    Well, they had the benefit of me not being at the game tonight. My husband was there while I was at a meeting for my job, so he is much more quiet about crap. Me - not so much.

    In addition to this issue, Connor was also being bullied by another child while sitting on the sidelines. The other child bent his finger backwards until he was screaming in pain and was unable to continue playing. The same child also bent his arm backwards tonight too. I also wrote an e-mail to the ref asking about the behavior expectations for the kids and who is responsible for their safety when they are waiting on the sidelines. The parents are required to sit on the opposite side of the field and are not allowed to cross the field or step past the goal line, where there is a flag. So - who is going to make sure my son is not bullied and intimidated? This issue is actually making me more upset than the medical id issue, and that is hard to believe. I want my son to continue to enjoy soccer and have a positive experience with the one sport that he's pretty good at - and now this...:(
     
  5. Mama Belle

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  6. Jordansmom

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    I agree on the issue of the medical alert bracelet. I would argue the point as well.

    Just for a frame of reference on the issue according to the soccer league: They made the girls on my daughter's team remove jewelry, barrettes, bobby pins, and even hair elastics that had a metal band on them. They are uptight about metal.

    I in no way condone their stupidity on the medical alert issue, but if you decide you want to compromise you could get a nonmetal bracelet. My DD wears silicone bands we had made for her as her medical alert.
     
  7. momandwifeoftype1s

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  8. Mom2rh

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    One of the refs at Hunter's soccer game (my nonD child) especially exempted med alert bracelets.

    I hope you get a good response.

    I'm sorry about the bullying. The coach needs to be aware and discipline the kid, IMO.
     
  9. momandwifeoftype1s

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    That's what I am thinking too. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your support. Even if I don't get a good response, at least I don't feel alone in my frustration and disappointment.
     
  10. Lance

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    The Ref's Perspective.....

    Much of this was posted in an earlier thread, but I've expanded a little, and felt that with the start of fall sports, it's time to bring it up again.

    D Kids and Sports Officials

    My view from from the dark side.... Here's the background. I'm one of those evil youth sports officials, also an instructor, and an assessor, and have worked several different youth sports.

    .......and now I'm the grandparent of a (recently diagnosed) D child.

    Here's the problem.... Virtually every sport has rules prohibiting players wearing jewelry, but your child needs to wear something that is technically considered jewelry to remain safe. What can you do to minimize the problems that will occasionally arise?

    First, while virtually every sport prohibits the wearing of jewelry, I know of NO YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATION that prohibits the wearing of medical bracelets. Period. What happens is that when officials are trained, they hear "NO JEWELRY" but they aren't paying attention to the exception for medical jewelry. Or the instructor or clinician forgets to mention it. Or sometimes the instructor isn't even aware of the exception.

    So when you are at the field and the umpire or referee tells your D kid to take off the bracelet or necklace, what do you do? One thing I can assure you is that you aren't going to win an argument at the field - unless you are fully prepared with documentation. Umpires/referees/officials are used to hearing every parent complain about everything they don't like, and more so in some sports than in others. We tune it out, and we don't back down. Does that make the ref right? No. But as a group, we're really stubborn! :rolleyes:

    So what is my general recommendation? First, be proactive. Check into this before the season starts and get something in writing from the appropriate administrator. If you don't get the answer you need, keep working your way up through the organization. Second, don't do anything that brings the attention of the officials to the bracelet. ;)You don't need to hide it, but you also don't need to advertise it. Make sure it is appropriately secured to your child's body. Taping it down will be required in most sports, but that doesn't mean you have to cover it completely. Your goal is to minimize the risk to everyone from the bracelet or necklace, while keeping it visible in an emergency.

    Finally, pick your battles. I am with everyone on this forum 100% regarding the need to wear the bracelet, but please understand that officials have a lot of liability issues hanging over their heads. Every decision they make upsets somebody. Cut the officials a little slack - they really are (usually) trying to do the right thing for everyone. Try to find a way to work with them.

    As for the type of bracelet, it makes no difference at all. In fact, the less standard bracelets (like the rubber or silicone ones) will probably get more scrutiny because that type is generally decorative, and harder to secure with tape. Those are usually the first ones we tell them to take off.

    Finally, (sorry this is so long, but I have an interest in both sides), if you need to handle this at the field, it can be done, but if it's confrontational, you are going to lose. Get together with your child's coach, and calmly approach the officials to discuss the issue. If they are stubborn, politely get their names, and report the situation to the appropriate league authorities. If someone approaches me with a positive attitude on the field, I am much more willing to listen. Officials get confronted about so many petty issues that we have typically built up the same defenses about our performance that D parents have built up for their kids. Rest assured that ultimately they are looking out for the safety of the players. The last thing I want out there is for a child to be injured or in danger because of any actions I may take. If I have a child on the field with a serious health condition, I really want to know that up front, anyway. Work with the officials as much as possible. In the final analysis, you both have the same goal - a safe, fun experience for each and every kid on the field.
     
  11. momandwifeoftype1s

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    So, how do I find out who the appropriate administrator is to contact to find out the policies? Are there rules and regulations at a national level or just local? Can't they just make up their own rules within the organization? Where do they get their information? Is there a national referee training organization that sets standardized policies? What can I give the coach/referees in writing before his next game to address this issue? Is there an official website link with information that I can print out?

    Thanks so much!
     
  12. Lance

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    You said in our original post that this was at a local rec center, so I'm guessing that it is a City Parks and Rec type program. If so, go to that dept for your next step. Sometimes they "hire" their own officials, and sometimes they just work with the local soccer organizations to get trained officials. Let's start with the most basic question.... Who did you write the check to? That's where I'd start. If you can't find a contact through that route, ask your team's coach. He/She should know who's up the chain of command.

    Their are national organizations that train soccer officials, but the local program may or may not be using those officials.

    Finally, the official position of US Soccer can be found here.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.:D
     
  13. momandwifeoftype1s

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    Thank you so much! I'm printing out a copy of the document that you linked to send to the rec league (if needed) and to bring to his games. What kind of tape is used to tape down the bracelet (without covering the critical medical information it displays)? Is this something I can purchase and bring to the games? I'm thinking that if I provide this letter, plus provide the tape - we'll be set. Yes? No? Anything else you can think of?

    Amy
     
  14. Lance

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    Try using regular athletic tape. You just need to secure the bracelet to keep fingers from slipping under it and getting caught. That's the primary danger the ref is trying ot prevent. Good luck.
     
  15. momandwifeoftype1s

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    Sorry for the dumb question, but is this something I can purchase at sporting goods store? What part of the store? As you can tell, I'm not the athletic one in the family... Thanks again for your help.
     
  16. Lance

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    Drug stores and grocery stores often have it in the first aid section. Sporting goods stores probably have it in several areas - I'm sure they'll help you find it.
     
  17. momandwifeoftype1s

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    This is the reply that I received back with their policy for the soccer association (it's posted on their website, but was hard to find).

    Remember to check for jewelry prior to the game. No earrings, rings, necklaces, watches, or bracelets are allowed. Medic alert bracelets are allowed but must be taped down. Sunglasses are allowed if they are prescription.

    The taping of earrings is not allowed. If they can't remove them they don't play. There will be no exceptions.


    The league president wrote back to me and said that the rules are from the FIFA Rules of the Game. I googled this organization, and came up with this link: http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/lawsofthegame.html

    I did a search (control F) throughout the rules, and could find nothing about medical IDs. Also, why would a rec league for 6 and 7 years old use these rules from Scottland? I'm confused.:confused:

    Edited to add more information from the league president. This was in her second e-mail to me.

    USSoccer has several posted guidelines involving laws of the game and yes, this one is similar to FIFA. USSoccer certifies referrees in the United States based on the Laws provided by FIFA.
    You may want to bring own tape and any tape will do, but the easiest to remove from skin for my children is the wider gauze-like sport tape.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  18. momandwifeoftype1s

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    This is my original e-mail to the association about the bullying issue:

    While the players are sitting on the sidelines waiting to play, what are the
    behavior expectations for the children? Who is responsible for their safety? My son's finger was bent backwards by another child tonight at a U8 game, and the same who bent his finger also tried to bend my child's arm backwards. Since the parents are asked to sit across the field from the sideline benches, how are we expected to keep our children from being bullied by other players? Thank you for addressing this issue. I would like soccer to continue to be a positive experience for my child.


    Here's her response:
    No player should be touching another in the manner you have outlined.

    The Coaches can normally keep the children under control. When they are
    aware of the issue it is easier for them to address.

    After talking with the Coaches (your son's team has both a Coach and an
    Assistant Coach) about the issue and the behaviour does not subside,
    please let the Board Member of the Day know, so the issue can be
    addressed at the time it occurs.


    This is what I wrote back:
    How am I supposed to talk to the coaches in the middle of a game when the incident is occurring? I will speak to his coach before the next game, but is there a way to signal the coach that there is a safety issue without disrupting the game? Can I walk around to the sidelines past the red flag to talk to the coach if I notice this happening during a game? Will the team be penalized because I walk on the sidelines to talk to the Assistant Coach/Coach. Does the Board Member of the Day wear a special shirt to distinguish her/him during the games? Thank you very much for your prompt response.

    So, what do you guys think?
     
  19. Lance

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    Sounds like the league position is consistent with what I wrote earlier. The reason for using FIFA Laws is for consistency of the game throughout the world. They are the governing body worldwide. It is recognized that some modifications are allowed for youth games, and US Soccer is the body that governs things in the US.

    I would make a copy of the email from the league and keep that with you at his games, and I would also make sure to give the coach a copy so he can address it if needed with the officials (without you having to intervene). It is really the duty of Conner's coach to deal with issues like this at game time.

    Good luck! Sounds like you handled it well.
     
  20. momandwifeoftype1s

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    Thank you for helping me navigate this process. I think we've got it under control now. I really appreciate your perspective.

    Amy
     

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