Safe Soccer Play
aggressive tackles and well-placed headers are among the reasons
why soccer is such an exciting sport to play.
is also one of the leading causes of sports injuries, says the American
Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than
507,000 soccer-related injuries in the United States in 2000. They
included fractures, dislocations, contusions, lacerations, strains
and sprains. The cost of those injuries was $7 billion in medical
care, work loss, pain, suffering and legal liability.
The AAOS offers
these tips on how you can prevent some common soccer injuries:
- Always warm
up and stretch. Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm ups
can include jumping jacks, stationary cycling, running or walking
in place for three to five minutes. After your warm up, slowly
and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
- Wear shin
guards to protect your lower legs.
- Wear shoes
with molded rubber cleats or ribbed soles. Shoes with screw-in
cleats may increase injury risk. You should wear shoes with screw-in
cleats when you need the traction playing in wet or high grass.
- When playing
on wet fields, use synthetic, nonabsorbent balls. Leather balls
can become water-logged and heavy when they get wet, and that
increases the chance of injury.
- Don't crawl
or sit on the goal or hang from the goal netting. You could be
injured or killed if a goal falls on you.
- Soccer goals
need to be well padded to prevent injury if a player collides
with a goal post. The goals need to be properly secured.
- Keep the
playing field in good condition. Holes should be filled, bare
spots reseeded, and debris removed from the field.
- Have first
aid training that lets you take care of minor injuries such as
cuts, bruises, or minor tendinitis, strains or sprains.
- Be prepared
for emergency situations, and have a plan to get medical help
in case of more serious injuries such as concussions, dislocations,
elbow contusions, wrist or finger sprains and fractures.
For more general
tips on sports injuries that kids could be prone to, the National
Institute of Arthritis and Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases offers
this guide for parents.
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