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Number of Youth Soccer Injuries Up Over Last 25 Years

Concussion rate jumped almost 1,600 percent in same time period

MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) — As the popularity of soccer has grown in the United States, so has the annual rate of soccer-related injuries in youths, according to a report published online Sept. 12 in Pediatrics.

Huiyun Xiang, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues collected 25 years of data on soccer injures from hospital emergency departments. They looked for injuries that occurred in players 7 to 17 years old.

The team found that injuries increased 111.4 percent between 1990 and 2014. Concussions made up 7.3 percent of these injuries; however, the yearly rate of concussions rose 1,595.6 percent over 25 years. The researchers found that most injuries — such as sprains, strains, and broken bones — occurred when a player was struck by another player or the ball (38.5 percent) or when they fell (28.7 percent). Most injuries (72.7 percent) were among older children and teens 12 to 17. Slightly more males were injured — 55.5 percent.

“This study is the first to comprehensively investigate soccer-related injuries and calculate injury rates based on soccer participation data among children at the national level,” the authors write. “The increasing number and rate of pediatric soccer-related injuries, especially soccer-related concussions/closed head injuries, underscore the need for increased efforts to prevent these injuries.”

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