Utah Taking Safety Precautions as Child Head Injuries Caused by Soccer Accidents Double

Recent movies and media reports have helped to increase public awareness about the concussion risks associated with playing football.  But there’s another popular U.S. sport that’s nearly as dangerous, and many of its victims are children: soccer.  According to one recent study, the number of child injuries caused by soccer accidents have skyrocketed during the past two and a half decades, more than doubling during the 25-year study period.  If your child suffered a concussion or other head injury while playing youth soccer or other sports in Utah, an experienced Salt Lake City brain injury attorney like Darwin Overson may be able to help your family recover compensation.

Statistics Show Soccer-Related Head Injuries in Teens, Children Increased Nearly 1,600%

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According to a study published in Pediatrics earlier this month, soccer-related injuries that were serious enough to need treatment by emergency departments more than doubled from 1990 to 2014.  Over the course of the 25-year study period, an estimated 2,995,765 children aged seven to 17 went to U.S. emergency departments for medical care, for an annual average of nearly 120,000 severe soccer-related injuries (nearly 330 injuries per day).

However, injury figures did not remain consistent from year to year.  On the contrary, the rate of injury climbed dramatically during the 25-year period.  According to the study, “The annual injury rate per 10,000 soccer participants increased significantly, by 111.4%, from 1990 to 2014.”

The danger of injury is especially high among children aged 12 to 17, who accounted for nearly three quarters of the injuries analyzed by the study (72.7%).  The most injuries occurred among children aged 14 and 15, though the average age at injury was 13.2 years.

Boys were slightly more likely to be injured than girls, with each gender accounting for 55.5% and 44.5% of the injuries, respectively.  Most of the injuries – 94.2% total – occurred either at school (25.7%), or at a sports center or recreation center (68.5%).

The study also identified the leading causes and types of injuries caused by soccer accidents.  Most injuries were caused by either:

  1. Being struck by a ball or other object (38.5%)
  2. A slip and fall accident (28.7%)

The most common types of injuries resulting from soccer accidents were found to be:

  1. Sprains and strains (34.6%)
  2. Broken bones (23.2%)
  3. Other soft tissue injuries, excluding sprains and strains (21.9%)
  4. Head injuries (7.3%)

Areas of the body most likely to be injured were the:

  1. Upper extremities (20.7%)
  2. Ankles (17.8%)
  3. Head and neck (17.7%)

While head injuries accounted for less than 10% of the injuries overall, they deserve special attention due to the alarming rate at which they increased.  While the study pinned the overall rate of injury at a 111.4% increase, the rate of head injury increased by a staggering 1,595.6%.  The rate of concussion injuries, which was analyzed separately, increased by 1,331.7%.  Concussions are a form of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Concussion Injury?

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Boys are somewhat more likely to sustain soccer injuries than girls, but the risk for both genders is high – and only seems to be increasing.  There is special cause for concern in Utah, where, according to Dr. Anne Russo of the TOSH Sports Concussion Clinic, “We’ve known for quite a while… that while boys football is the number one leading cause of concussions, girls soccer is number two and it’s not very far behind.”

As Dr. Russo explains, a concussion can have devastating effects – effects that far exceed the short-term grogginess most people associate with concussion injuries.

Not only, Dr. Russo cautioned, will victims “have problems remembering information,” they’re also “going to have potential problems with personality functioning [and] emotional regulation.”  She added that “depression issues are very prevalent” among concussion victims, which can be especially hard on children and teens as they try to keep up their grades and make friends at school.

Contact a Salt Lake Head Injury Lawyer if Your Child Has a Concussion from Utah Youth Soccer

Fortunately, the Utah Youth Soccer Association is taking this issue seriously.  The Association issued a statement noting recent “restrictions on heading [by players] under 10 years old,” adding that “in many states, including Utah, heading restrictions have been increased to include [players] under 12 and younger.”  (The term “heading” refers to hitting the ball with one’s head.)

The statement went on to add, “We encourage parents and coaches to reach out to the TOSH injury hotline at (801) 314-4111 if they are concerned about a potential injury.”  However, if your son or daughter has already been injured, you should speak with an experienced Utah personal injury attorney, like Darwin Overson of Overson Law, as soon as possible.  Depending on how and why the injury occurred, your family may be entitled to compensation for a TBI.

Overson Law handles personal injury cases in Salt Lake County, Summit County, Tooele County, Wasatch County, Morgan County, Rich County, Davis County, and throughout Utah.  To set up a confidential and completely free legal consultation with Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 today.


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