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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.
Keeping Athletes In The Game
Broward Health's Sports Medicine Program at Broward Health Coral Springs is working hard to keep athletes of all ages in the game. We treat all types of sports injuries, from weekend warrior to professional athlete. This is accomplished through a team of specialized physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and athletic trainers, who have had special training in sports medicine. In addition to general orthopedic specialists, the sports medicine center also has orthopedic physicians who specialize in the hand and spine for high quality care.
Some of the unique services the center offers include:
- Evaluation of sports related injuries with treatment ranging from rehabilitation to surgical reconstruction.
- Treatment of overuse conditions such as muscle strain, tendonitis, shin splints, and tennis elbow.
- Evaluation and management of adolescent sports injuries.
- Advanced imaging services, including MRI and CT interpreted by radiologists with extensive experience in musculoskeletal injuries.
- Certified athletic trainers at 20 high schools in Broward County public schools, and three private high schools.
The Sports Medicine Program provides a wide range of community outreach services, from free pre-participation physicals for high school athletes to coverage by certified athletic trainers at community events to protect and treat athletes of all ages.
As exclusive provider of sports medicine for the School Board of Broward County, Broward Health’s Sports Medicine Program conducted more than 1,200 high school physicals last year.
For all your sport medicine needs, call 954-344-3180.