Girls are more likely than boys to get concussions while playing kids’ soccer, according to The Wall Street Journal. So maybe it’s time to think twice about having your daughter play the sport.
There are a number of differences between the kinds of injuries that boys get versus girls while out on the soccer field. In addition to concussions, girls are more likely to suffer from heat illness and to injure a ligament on their supporting leg, The Journal said.
With boys, their dominant leg is most likely to be injured.
In statistics for high school soccer, 18.5 percent of the injuries for girls are in the head and face, versus 12.4 percent for boys, according to data from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that was cited by The Journal.
Neck injuries account for 1.8 percent of overall girls’ soccer injuries, and for 0.4 percent of boys’ injuries.
There are several theories about why the injuries for the two sexes differ, according to experts quoted by The Journal, having to do with their different physiques and the way they play. There is also the notion that girls are more willing to talk about their symptoms than boys.
The article offers an anecdote from a New Jersey man whose teen-aged son and daughter both play soccer. The boy has suffered muscle strain, while the girl has had a concussion and broke her nose once. The Journal quotes the father as saying that “it’s disturbing when your kid is saying her head hurts and she doesn’t feel good.”
Well, it should be disturbing, and worrisome. Nonetheless, efforts to mandate that kids wear helmets while playing soccer have failed.
Scientists believe that girls may get more concussons than boys ” because girls’ neck muscles are not as strong or because they are more likely to report their injuries,” according to The Journal. And crashes into other players, not “heading” the ball, cause the concussions.
Today high school soccer teams usually make players suspected of having a concussion — with symptoms like loss of consciousness, headaches, confusion and dizziness — get an OK from a doctor before coming back to play.
That’s what the National Federation of State High School Associations says should be done.