DALLAS, Texas. Any youth sport can put children at risk of injury. Tackle football has faced criticism because of the risk of head injury it poses to children. According to the Chicago Tribune, youth football players are at risk of head injuries in all positions, but quarterbacks, running backs, and linebackers are most at risk. Many parents have chosen to enroll their children in what they perceive to be lower-impact competitive sports. Soccer is one of these sports.
Yet, according to the Atlantic, at the top-tier of competitive play, young soccer players are also at risk. One of the problems is that children are being asked to focus on just one sport at a very young age. When children specialize in one sport too early, they can experience burnout, be at greater risk of injury, or suffer from overtraining. Even adults who specialize in just one sport run the risk of overtraining and this is why cross training is recommended. U.S. Soccer disagrees with the experts, saying that its own studies have found no difference between young players who specialize early and those who cross-train. Parents may find themselves facing conflicting information and may not always not know what to do—especially if coaches tell them that their children have talent and can go far in the sport.
Think that putting your child in soccer will protect him or her from head injuries? According to the Atlantic, the rate of head injuries in youth soccer has increased by 1,595 percent. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, female soccer players are at greater risk of suffering head injuries than football players.
Another risk factor that has been in the news lately has been the risk of head injuries when players head the ball. Even older players are at risk of head injuries when performing this maneuver, but younger children who suffer concussions run a greater risk of causing lasting damage to their developing brains.
So, what can parents do to protect their children? For one, parents can just let their kids be kids. Don’t enroll them in the hypercompetitive clubs. Let children explore other sports in school and out of school. Watch your child for injuries. If he or she is suffering from multiple injuries, it might be time for a break.
Finally, coaches and clubs could be held responsible if they push children too far. Clubs and coaches have a responsibility to put children’s safety first. If your child suffered a serious injury while playing soccer or another sport, or has suffered a traumatic brain injury on the field, you may have important rights under the law. The Law Offices of Robert Gregg are personal injury lawyers in Dallas, Texas who work with victims and their families to help them seek justice. Sports injuries can interfere with everyday life and can sideline a child’s chances for scholarships and other benefits. If you believe a coach or club’s negligence may have led to your child’s injury, visit our firm at http://www.gregginjury.com/ to learn more about your rights.
Law Offices of Robert Gregg
2024 Commerce Street, Suite B,
Dallas, TX 75201