Each year, more than 8 million kids play soccer and more than 75,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms for soccer-related injuries. Some of the more common soccer injuries include broken bones, concussions, torn ligaments and sprains.
- Boys should wear an athletic cup, shin guards and soccer shoes.
- Girls should wear a chest protector, shin guards and soccer shoes.
- The goalie should wear gloves in addition to the equipment mentioned above.
- Remove nets when goals are not in use.
- Check your child’s equipment often to make sure it is in good condition and fits properly.
- Tell your child never to climb on the net or goal framework.
- Make sure the goal is properly anchored and counterweighed. A movable soccer goal is more likely to tip over than one that is anchored.
Playing the Game Correctly
- Have your child play with other children of the same skill level, physical maturity and weight.
- Make sure your child knows and plays by the rules of the game.
- Make sure the coach has the proper qualifications to coach soccer and is teaching the proper techniques.
- Inform the coach of any medical conditions your child may have.
- Ensure there is always adult supervision.
- Keep your child hydrated. Provide water before, during and after all games and practices, especially on hot days. Although water is preferred, sports drinks and juices are good alternatives. Avoid drinks containing caffeine because they can further dehydrate the body.
- Make sure the playing environment is safe.
- Do not permit your child to play if they are injured or sick.
- Make sure your child is instructed on safe handling and potential dangers of moveable soccer goals.
- Make sure a person certified in CPR and first aid is present at all games and practices.
- Clear the playing field of garbage and debris, and make sure there are no holes or stumps that may cause injury to players.
- If playing outdoors, have your child wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher that is sweat and water-resistant. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two to four hours.
- Be familiar with RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. This is effective for most minor sprains and strains associated with athletic injury.