Children can gain a lot from engaging in sports. Midfielder for the Philippine National Football Team James Younghusband tells SmartParenting.com.ph about the benefits of football.
“Football helps [children] express themselves. When they’re happy, they can just run around and have fun. When they’re angry, they can kick the ball harder. They also learn about teamwork through fun drills like relays.”
However, as with any physical sport, there can be dangers to it as well.
A study analyzed data to know the cause of concussions in kids who play football. Majority of them were due to player-to-player contact. Headers, however, were also responsible for nearly a third of concussions for boys and more than a quarter for girls.
“Heading” requires the player to strike at the ball using her head in order to redirect it. This proved to be the most dangerous individual move in football.
The research was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics and used data taken between 2005 and 2014 from high schools in the United States to estimate the total soccer concussion numbers in the U.S. They found that headers caused more than 74,000 concussions in boys’ soccer and nearly 87,000 in girls’ soccer during the time period.
Those numbers translate to 4.5 concussions per every 10,000 football game or practice for girls and 1.6 concussions per every 10,000 for boys.
“Banning heading would reduce some concussions without a doubt, perhaps as many as 30% of the concussions, said co-author Dawn Comstock, researcher at the Colorado School of Public Health.
In spite of this, researchers don’t think that heading should be banned from football. Instead, focus should be put on reducing player-to-player contact where most concussions occur, said the researchers.
“Sports is a wonderful way for kids to incorporate physical activity,” said Comstock. “We just want to keep kids as safe as possible while they’re playing their sports.”
Source: July 14, 2015. "New study finds banning headers only part of what's needed to prevent youth soccer concussions". startribune.com July 13, 2015. "This Soccer Move Is Causing Concussions In Kids". time.com