Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Soccer's Popularity Spurs Youth Injuries

Analysis Finds Injury Rates Are Highest Among Kids Under 15
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 25, 2010 -- Injuries in youth soccer are common, and rates are higher among players younger than age 15, a new analysis shows.

Reporting in the February issue of Pediatrics, researchers say that soccer -- one of the most popular team sports in the world -- is almost synonymous with injuries. Young female players tend to suffer more knee-related injuries, while male soccer players are more likely to report more ankle injuries, the researchers write.

The researchers say that prevention programs could reduce the number of knee injuries through specialized exercise programs and should be promoted by coaches and officials of soccer leagues.

Female players, the researchers report, have a slightly higher risk of concussion than male players. The risk of head injury is about the same in soccer as it is in other contact-collision sports, but the researchers say the evidence doesn't support "heading" -- using the head to propel or stop the ball -- as a risk for short- or long-term cognitive problems.

The researchers say enforcing the rules of the game and discouraging overtly aggressive or dangerous play could help, because many soccer players get hurt when either the play becomes unsafe or because of conditions that go with the sport.

It's estimated that 15.5 million people in the U.S. participate in soccer. Two national youth organizations have registered 650,000 and 3.2 million participants under the age of 19. The number of female adolescent players increased 7% between 2001 and 2007.

The researchers say more than 700,000 girls and boys played soccer in high schools in the U.S. in 2008-2009, placing soccer among the top sports for increased participation.

With increased participation comes an increasing prevalence of youths injured while playing soccer showing up in pediatric offices, the study says.

According to the researchers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated there were 186,544 soccer-related injuries in 2006, about 80% affecting young people under 24. Forty-four percent of the injuries, the researchers write, occurred in players younger than 15.

Types of Soccer Injuries

The researchers say they studied records from the CPSC's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration