Youth Soccer Athleticism, Increased Injuries & Emergency Room Services

Roger Stanmore, MD, JDAccording to reports, the number of U.S. children seeking emergency room care has soared in numbers in recent years, thanks to sports injuries. More precisely, soccer injuries. The trend has marked many young athletes, who often arrive with concussions and requiring urgent medical care.

After analyzing 25 years of data, it was revealed that there was a growing interest in popularity. Also, sports medicine experts and researchers believe that the rise in diagnoses can be attributed to the fact that the public is better educated about concussions and their possible risks. For this reason,  parents and coaches are currently more likely to seek out treatment via emergency rooms.

Between 2000 and 2014, there were nearly 3 million players, aged 7-17, who received emergency room treatment following a sports-related injury. The number of sports injuries coincide with soccer’s rising popularity, attracting children with a broad range of athletic ability, and that’s resulted in soccer-related injuries doubling from 106 per 10,000 players in 1990 to 220 per 10,000 players in 2013. Conclusively, data suggests that there’s an overall lean toward injury prevention and safety education when youth soccer is concerned. There are unfortunate consequences that could result from concussions, including issues with brain development and cognitive function.

Dr. Huiyun Xiang, the lead author and a researcher at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, led the study that focused on the trend. Published on Monday, September 12th in Pediatrics, the report shows that the rates of soccer-related injuries rank second behind football among youth sports. The greater the number of football-related concussions, the greater the number of ER visits for boys. When girls are concerned, soccer is the leading sport resulting in concussions.

While most players aren’t hospitalized, the most common injuries are fractures and sprains caused by getting hit by the ball, head collisions, or by falling. Swelling concerns over soccer-related injuries has encouraged the U.S. Soccer Federation to implement restrictions, which includes banning children aged 10 years and younger.  There are proper techniques for avoiding injury while playing soccer, such as tensing neck muscles. Children, particularly those who aren’t very athletic, should work to build adequate strength for playing soccer.
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