Soccer Safety And Injury Prevention For Youth Programs
Every year tens of thousands of young soccer players will take the pitch, the whistle will blow, and off they will go, running and kicking the ball. From the most basic recreational soccer to the highest level of competitive soccer, to school soccer, both boys and girls will play the game they love across the nation. While soccer is generally considered to be a safe sport, there will still be hundreds of injuries to players, officials and even spectators as well. Most injuries will be minor, but some more serious resulting in long term disability, or even death. While any sport carries the risk of injury, soccer being no different, the fact that many injuries could be prevented, is a troublesome thought.
Sobering Statistics: According to the February 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine there were 1.6 million Pediatric (under 18 yrs) soccer related injuries that visited emergency rooms in the USA from 1990 to 2003. Per the article, the statistical breakdown went as follows: Average age = 13; Boys=58%; Girls=42%; Injury by body area: Hand and wrist=20%; ankle=18%; knee=12%; Other=50%. Most common diagnoses were: sprain/strain=36%; contusion/abrasion=24%; fracture=23%. Boys were more likely to have face, head and neck injuries. Girls more likely to have ankle and knee injuries. The interesting part is that this is, as the saying goes, just the “tip of the iceberg”. I suspect that the vast majority of injuries never are seen in the emergency rooms or even by an MD for that matter. I know from personal experience that less than 5% of all the player injuries I have had on all of my teams over the past 18 years, have required medical attention. For another look at injury statistics, go to USYS Injuries and Style of Play.
The purpose of this website and blog is to present the most current information available on the subject of soccer safety, share my thoughts on the subject, and provide a forum for members of the soccer community to give their input on the matter and bring their own experiences to the “table”. Sharing of information on this subject matter among our soccer family will, hopefully, give us all a better appreciation of the importance of soccer safety and help us all create a more safe environment in which our kids can play.
Go to the various topics on the left side bar to see my thoughts on key issues in soccer safety and to post your comments. If you cannot find a topic that suits your post, include it in misc soccer safety and if I get enough interest in that subject, I will create a new category. The right side bar has interesting links to soccer and safety related sites.
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