Children’s Hospital in Ohio completed the first comprehensive national study on children’s soccer injuries and it has released some surprising results.
Kids are becoming more and more competitive in league sports and at a younger age. There is no surprise that the annual rate of injuries has soared by 111% according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. To be more specific, from 1990 to 2014 there was a 78 % increase in soccer related injuries treated in hospital emergency room departments.
So why the sudden increase in injuries of kids 12 to 17 years of age?
It was said that the increase in injuries did not correlate with the increase in number of children playing so we can’t account the rise in popularity of soccer in the states. It seems however that our young athletes are learning to be more aggressive in the game.
“Most injuries happened when a player was struck by another player or the ball, or from falling.” –HealthLine
Our kids are showing their competitiveness and I don’t think we were ready to combat that or deal with it in a constructive manner. Or maybe we are allowing our kids to push themselves too hard. Not giving them the proper time to rest and recover.
The highest cause of injury, being at 35%, was sprains and strains followed up by fractures. Soft tissue injuries fell in the 23% and 22% range. Concussions fortunately, were at the 7% range, being the lowest of the reported injuries.
Injury prevention programs?
There are new programs out to help reduce ankle and other lower extremity injuries. There are even studies assessing the efficacy of those said programs. It is quite a world we live in, isn’t it.
Injury prevention programs (IPP’s) are a combination of warm-up, neuromuscular strength, or proprioception training, and assessments of the individual athlete in their field of play. The study compared normal practice routines with the new IPP’s and found that a little extra attention can go a long way. IPP’s significantly reduced team sport injury rates. There hasn’t been a clear understanding as to how it helps but the evidence is there none-the-less.
By: Stephanie Jones