As U.S. youth soccer participation soared in recent decades, so did the rate of injuries–especially concussions--related to the sport, according to a study in the October 2016 Pediatrics. The study, "Soccer-Related Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments: 1990 – 2014
," found roughly 2,995,765 children between ages 7-17 years were treated in U.S. emergency departments for soccer-related injuries during the 25-year period examined, with the annual injury rate rising 111 percent. Patients ages 12-17 accounted for 73 percent of the injuries, and the average age of a child injured while playing soccer was 13 years old. Contact with a person or object, most often another player or the ball, was involved in 35 percent of the injuries. Injuries most commonly diagnosed were sprain/strain (35 percent), fracture (23 percent) and soft tissue injury (22 percent). Concussions/closed head injury accounted for 7 percent of the injuries, but the annual rate of concussions increased substantially, by 1,596 percent. Authors of the study said the findings highlight the need for increased injury prevention efforts in the sport.
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