Research has shown that over 30% of concussions in soccer are caused by heading the ball or by attempting to head the ball and colliding with a player, object, or the ground. 11% of children who suffer a concussion still have symptoms three months later. Persistent post-concussion symptoms can be devastating. There is a growing body of literature showing that heading a soccer ball can result in problems with memory and attention, as well as structural and metabolic differences visible on advanced brain imaging, even in the absence of a symptomatic concussion. Further, there is substantial evidence supporting the notion that young people may be more susceptible to damage resulting from repetitive concussive and sub-concussive brain trauma. In younger children, the long term effects of brain trauma can become apparent years after injury, as normal developmental milestones are disrupted.
Numerous organizations and foundations across the country have pledged to attack the epidemic of concussions in youth sports. The research and the science of concussions in young athletes is as compelling as it is undeniable. US Soccer is not alone in its campaign and LSA hopes, with the resources listed below, to help educate all of our parents, players, coaches and referees.
To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, CDC developed the HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The HEADS UP initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion. To learn more on the basics of brain injuries, simply CLICK the CDC logo to the left. To go to any one of the CDC Resources simply CLICK on the title below.