Study Says Soccer May Not Be The Safe Alternative To Football You Hoped For

Flickr / woodleywonderworks

With the smell of fresh beer and body paint in the air, it’s officially football season — or for parents, “argue about if our kid is allowed to ever play football” season. The very real dangers of playing a sport made of concussions, combined with skepticism about the NFL’s ability to fix that problem, could make many parents opt for a safer sport like soccer. Sadly, a new study from the Center For Injury Research And Policy found that your kid is kind of screwed either way.

Soccer Injuries Increase Over 25 Years

Flickr / Chip Griffin

The research, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, found that between 1990 and 2014 the number of soccer related injuries treated in the ER in the U.S. increased by 78 percent, while the yearly rate of injuries increased by 111 percent among youth 7 to 17 years old. About 35 percent of these injuries were sprains or strains, 23 percent were fractures, and 22 percent were soft tissue injuries. Concussions and other closed-head injuries (CHIs) only accounted for 7 percent, and yet this amounted to a nearly 1600 percent increase since 1990. That might be a good comeback for anyone who thinks soccer is too girly or european, but it’s bad news for pretty much everything else.

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Unlike with trampoline parks, this increase in injuries can’t be blamed solely on the increase popularity of the sport. (Also, soccer is popular?) According to the study, researchers were able to account for this by calculating the rates using participation data, which showed that the “rising number of injuries comes not just from the increase in the number of young players participating in the sport.” Though this does explain where all the kiddie football players are going, it suggests your kid could get there bell rung either way. Perhaps there’s still hope for Junior’s football dreams … as long as it’s special teams.

[H/T] Science Daily

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