Childhood soccer injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments

Acad Emerg Med. 2006 May;13(5):571-4. doi: 10.1197/j.aem.2005.12.015. Epub 2006 Mar 28.


Objectives: Soccer, an increasingly popular sport among children in the United States, is a common precipitant to injury-related emergency department (ED) visits. The authors estimated the number of children treated in EDs for soccer-related injuries and described the nature of these injuries.

Methods: Data from the 2000 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program were used to estimate the overall number and rate of soccer injuries in children, calculate injury rates per 1,000 children, and describe the body regions affected and types of injuries. Results were stratified by five-year age groups (5-9 years, 10-14 years, and 15-19 years).

Results: Approximately 144,600 children sustained soccer-related injuries in 2000 for a rate of 2.36 injuries per 1,000 children. Injury rates increased with age (0.8, 5-9 year olds; 3.1, 10-14 year olds; 3.2, 15-19 year olds). Common types of injuries were strains/sprains (36.7%), fractures (23.0%), and contusions (20.9%). Fractures decreased with age; sprains/strains increased with age. Commonly injured body regions varied by age. Wrist and finger injuries were most common (12.7% and 12.4%, respectively) in the youngest group; in the 10-14-year-old group, ankle and wrist injuries were most common (15.7% and 13.6%, respectively). In the oldest age group, ankle injuries were most common (21.9%), followed by knee injuries (17.6%).

Conclusions: Substantial numbers of children were treated in EDs for soccer-related injuries. Injury types and affected body regions varied by age. Injury prevention efforts to reduce soccer-related injuries may need to be age specific.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Arm Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Facial Injuries / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Soccer / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology