When you hear about sports-related concussions, you probably think of football. However, new evidence shows that high school soccer players have a high rate of concussions too. A new study found that after high school football, girls' soccer has the next highest rate of concussions.
The high rate of concussions in soccer may not often be discussed but the dangers are real. High school athletes who play soccer should be aware of the risks of suffering a concussion, especially as more athletes start playing. Did you know that the number of high school soccer players has increased by 7.4 percent in the country during the last four years? That's according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, which shows that the concussion rate for soccer players may only increase.
The increase of soccer's popularity highlights the need for more awareness to concussions in the sport and the damage it can cause. In soccer, players have a high risk of getting a concussion when they perform a header, which is when they hit the soccer ball with their head. A study claims that soccer players head the ball up to 12 times a game and even more during practice.
The finding that soccer has one of the highest concussion rates in high school sports is disturbing. When someone suffers a concussion while playing a sport, their symptoms may not seem that significant. However, it is very important to seek medical attention because concussions can cause both short-term and long-term damage that can affect a person's memory and other cognitive abilities.
As soccer becomes a more popular sport in California and throughout the country, players and coaches need to be aware of the risks of head injuries and concussions and make sure they are taking players out of the game or practice right after a concussion to prevent any further damage.
Source: AZ Central, "Soccer headers leading to concussion," Paola Boivin, May 30, 2014