Soccer-related head injuries up among young athletes

According to a new study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the recent surge in soccer’s popularity has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of concussions and closed-head injuries (CHIs) among athletes 7 to 17 years of age.

The study, published in Pediatrics, said such head injuries are up almost 1600 percent from 1990 to 2014.

Overall, the study’s authors found that the number of soccer-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments increased 78 percent during that time. This isn’t just due to the fact that more athletes are playing soccer, the authors observed. It also has to do with athletes playing all year instead of just during a specific season and higher intensity on the field.

Looking specifically at what causes most soccer-related injuries, contact with another player or with the ball made up 39 percent of the incidents. Another 29 percent of the injuries were a result of a player falling to the ground.

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