Soccer-related injuries in children: What role can parents play?

Soccer is a fantastic sport that allows your child to get some exercise while also learning how to work as part of a team. It is fast-paced, and as your child’s skill level improves, the likelihood of a soccer-related injury grows.

Common soccer-related injuries

Concussions are relatively prevalent in soccer. Direct strikes to the head or quick jerking actions during impact can injure players. Concussions do not necessarily result in loss of consciousness. A concussion might be as simple as a headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, or fuzzy vision. Any player who exhibits signs of a concussion should be checked by a medical practitioner and cleared before returning to play.

  • Knee and leg injuries are common in soccer. Collisions can cause contusions and fractures. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and meniscal tears are both relatively common soccer injuries.
  • Tendonitis (patellar tendon in the knee or Achilles tendon in the ankle) or growth-plate inflammation (Osgood Schlatters in the knee or Sever’s in the heel) can also occur. Some children may experience shin pain due to shin splints or stress fractures.
  • Wrist sprains and fractures are prevalent due to falls or contact with other players or balls.

11 Preventive measures

  1. A balanced fitness regimen should incorporate aerobic exercise, weight training, and flexibility during the off-season. If a child is out of shape at the start of the season, they should gradually increase exercise and gradually build up to a greater fitness level.
  2. A child should warm-up and stretch before each practice and game, especially their legs. Jumping jacks or jogging in place for many minutes could be part of a warm-up. Stretch lightly after the aerobic warm-up. Stretching should be done again at the end of each practice or game to lessen the likelihood of injury and muscle pain.
  3. Ascertain that your child is adequately hydrated. A common rule of thumb is to ensure your child drinks at least six glasses of water daily.
  4. Shin guards, which protect the lower legs, are an appropriate piece of equipment.
  5. Shoes with moulded cleats or ribbed soles lessen injury risk.
  6. Soccer goals should be well-padded and securely fastened. When players make contact with the posts, padding reduces the likelihood of head injuries.
  7. The field should be kept in good shape. Holes should be plugged, bare patches should be reseeded, and rubbish should be eliminated.
  8. Pay attention to the weather and react accordingly. Explain to your child that in the event of a thunderstorm, they must leave the field and go inside as soon as possible.
  9. Coaches should be familiar with basic first aid and be able to apply it to minor injuries. They should be prepared for emergencies and have a strategy in place to seek medical assistance for more serious injuries.
  10. After any injury, including mild injuries, children should be medically cleared to return to play.
  11. Overuse injuries are becoming more common in young athletes who specialise in a single activity and train year-round. Limit the number of teams your child joins in one season to help prevent overuse problems. Taking pauses and participating in various sports regularly is essential for your child’s skill development and injury avoidance.

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