As with any sport, soccer is a sport that can lead to a number of injuries in children and young adults. The likelihood of concussions caused by soccer in kids is high for a number of reasons, including the following:
A soccer concussion is common because children are running around at a very fast pace. When kids are moving quickly and focused intently on the ball, they are less likely to notice their surroundings and may run into another player or trip over their feet. The fast-paced nature of soccer is one of the key reasons why it is a sport that can lead to a number of injuries.
Certain movements in soccer, such as when a player hits the ball with their head, lead to more head injuries. Of course, a concussion in any sport is common, but when you are specifically using your head to hit a ball, this leads to more occurrences of concussions in kids. Kids may often throw their entire body into the header motion, leading to an increase in the likelihood that they will end up slamming their body into another player or falling hard on the ground, which can jostle the head and lead to head injuries.
Kicking is also a necessary part of playing soccer, as the most common way to move the ball down the field is by kicking. Unfortunately, this can mean that many players accidentally kick others. With children, they may kick wildly in the general direction of the ball and if another player is down, they can suffer from a concussion.
Abrupt Stops and Starts
While not as common, abruptly starting or stopping in soccer can also be a cause of a head injury. A concussion in soccer can be caused by a child or young adult running very fast and then stopping all of the sudden. This can cause the brain to slam into the skull, leading to a mild to severe concussion in your child.
Getting Hit with the Ball
A soccer ball flying at a child or young adult’s head can be very dangerous and lead to a concussion. This is especially a problem with middle school age kids and teenagers, as they kick the ball much harder than younger kids. The faster the ball flies at the head or face of a youth, the more dangerous it can be.
Girls Will Be Girls
Girls differ from boys in their responsiveness to concussions but researchers don’t have all the answers to this and have reached no concrete conclusions. Many agree that girls may be predisposed from the get-go as their neck muscles are generally weaker and they tend to rotate their heads faster than boys. There’s some indication that girls may take longer to recover from concussions than boys.
reprinted with permission by Mass. Soccer Club, Nov, 2013