Youth Soccer Injuries Are on the Rise
According to a study published in Pediatrics, youth soccer injuries in the U.S. have risen right along with the popularity of the sport. In the 24-year period between 1990 and 2014, injuries in young soccer players increased 111 percent. Kids aged 12 to 17 are more than 3 times more likely to be injured than younger players, and account for 70 percent of this increase. And this study may not tell the whole story: it only looked at emergency room data, not information from pediatricians, primary care doctors, and specialists.
Sprains and strains accounted for almost 35 percent of all injuries, fractures accounted for 23.2 percent, and cuts and bruises, about 22 percent. Overall, head injuries and concussions accounted for 7.3 percent of the injuries, but this indicates an increase of 1,600 percent from 1990 to 2014.
Qualified coaches, proper equipment, and adequate field maintenance can help reduce injury risk for young soccer players. Some experts also recommend children play more than one sport throughout the year. It’s important to rest and exercise other muscles, especially while young bodies are still growing and developing.
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