Soccer Safety for Kids and Parents

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Playing soccer is generally great for children's health. It promotes cardiovascular health and works out many different areas of the body: the quads, calves, abdominal muscles, back muscles and more. However, the sport is not without risks.

If you're not careful, your child could get injured during practice or during a game. Here are some of the most important safety concerns you should pay attention to.

==> The Dangers of Heading

Heading, or the practice of hitting a soccer ball with your head, can cause neurological damage over time.

It's not hitting a ball once or twice during a game that poses the real danger. The real danger actually comes from practice, where kids might practice heading dozens of times a day.

This kind of repeated head trauma might not result in immediately visible damage, but can have a big impact in the long run.

The solution? Either wear protective head gear while practicing heading, or practice heading with soft balls (like Nerf balls) most of the time and only use real balls rarely.

==> Inspecting the Field

Before each game or practice, one person should be responsible for inspecting the field.

That means checking the field for any broken glass, any bottles, any trash or any holes in the ground.

Just one piece of stray debris is all it takes to cause a serious injury.

==> Non-Slip Shoes

Any child playing soccer should have soccer shoes that have cleats.

Cleats allow kids to run quickly and to turn on a dime, even on wet fields, without slipping and hurting themselves.

Avoid screw-in cleats, as they have a higher risk of injury.

==> Proper Warm-Up

Every child should go through a warm-up routine before working out. They should get their heart rate up, as well as stretch out their muscles.

This reduces the chances of sprains or of muscle pulls. It also helps their soccer game.

==> Have First Aid Kits and Emergency Contacts

There should be at least one first aid kit on site. It should have everything you need to treat the most common soccer injuries.

You should also have emergency contacts for each child. That should include the child's doctor, dentist (in case of teeth getting knocked out) and parents.

==> Use Non-Absorbent Balls

If you're playing after the rain or on a wet field, use a non-absorbent ball. Normal soccer balls will soak up water and become heavy and dangerous if played on a wet field.

==> Remove All Accessories

All accessories like bracelets, watches, earrings, necklaces and so on should all be removed before the game. These can snag and cause serious injuries if kept on during the game.

These are some of the most important safety concerns to pay attention to. Developing good safety habits will allow everyone to have a good time while staying as healthy as possible.

Soccer Safety for Kids and Parents

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