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Avoid Soccer Injuries in Your Kids

The school team. The town team. The travel team. If your young soccer player is on the field for several games or practices a week, it may be too much.

Most injuries occur in the 10- to 14-year-old age group. Younger players are more susceptible to injury because they're still growing.

Many soccer-related injuries are treated by health care professionals.

Injuries are more likely when kids are out of shape. Experts say it's not a good idea for a child to be inactive all summer and then play in three soccer leagues in the fall. Increase playing time gradually by no more than 10 to 20 percent each week. Children should be on teams that are not only age-appropriate, but size-appropriate.

Though most injuries were sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures, there's a growing concern about head injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that most severe head injuries in soccer are caused by collisions with other players or with the goal posts. But there have also been questions about the safety of heading the ball. The AAP recommends discouraging heading until the child has adequate neck strength and  can learn the skills needed to do this safely, with the proper technique. A player should never be forced to head a ball.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the following to prevent soccer injuries:

  • Take time to warm up and stretch, especially the hips, knees, thighs, and calves--cold muscles are more prone to injury.

  • Wear shin guards to help protect your lower legs.

  • Wear shoes with molded cleats or ribbed soles, not cleats that are screwed into the soles. Screw-in cleats should be worn when more traction is needed, such as on a wet field with high grass.

  • Don’t allow players to crawl or sit on the goal, or hang from the net.

  • Pad and properly secure goal posts to decrease the incidence of head injuries during collisions with the posts.

  • Keep playing fields in good repair.

  • Consider wearing protective eyewear.

Our Level II Adult Trauma Center provides multidisciplinary care of the highest quality in Broward County, lead by surgeons specialized in trauma and critical care. Our well-coordinated efforts with the county’s Emergency Medical System allow us to initiate life saving treatment in the "golden hour" that ultimately translates to improved outcomes.

We have state of the art technology available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. This includes a 128-slice CT scanner, portable x-ray and ultrasound with access to PACS, portable ventilators, central monitoring and a helipad that delivers patients strategically close to the trauma resuscitation rooms.

For patients needing immediate life saving operative procedures a designated fully equipped operating room is ready 24/7 as part of out integrated trauma system. Critical Care patients are cared for by one of our Trauma Critical Care units (MICU or SICU). Other injured patients are admitted to one of our other trauma units such as NeuroStepdown, NeuroTelemetry or 3NE Orthopedic Trauma.

In addition to an in-house trauma surgeon available 24 hours a day, other specialty services are readily available when called upon. They include: Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Interventional Radiology, Plastic Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology, Pulmonary Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology.

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