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Epidemiology of Acute Soccer Injuries in Canadian Children and Youth

Giannotti, Maria MSc, DC*; Al-Sahab, Ban MSc*; McFaull, Steve MSc; Tamim, Hala PhD*

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3182094340
Original Articles

Objectives: To describe acute injury characteristics in children and youth soccer players and to identify the characteristics of patients who required hospital admission.

Methods: The analysis of the study was based on the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program. A total of 32,149 patients (aged 5-19 years) with soccer-related injuries presenting to 16 participating hospital emergency departments from 1994 to 2004 were included in the analysis.

Results: Males had the highest proportion of injuries (62%). The leading injuries were sprains/strains (38%), followed by fractures/dislocations (31%) and superficial injuries (23%). A total of 896 cases (3%) required hospital admission. Based on logistic regression analysis, being a male, playing unorganized soccer, having multiple body injuries, playing soccer outside school premises, and playing during the summer/fall increased the likelihood of hospital admission. Moreover, having a head/face/neck injury (Odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.1-1.7) and trunk injury (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.4) as compared with an upper extremity injury and having injuries from contact with structures/surfaces (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 2.2-4.3) and with other players (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.8-3.5) as compared with ball contact had the highest odds of hospital admission.

Conclusions: Soccer accounted for a significant proportion of injuries presented to Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program emergency departments during 1994-2004. Further studies investigating potential interventional programs and techniques among this population are highly warranted.

From the *School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto; and †Injury and Child Maltreatment Section, Public Health Agency ofCanada, Ottawa, Canada.

Reprints: Hala Tamim, PhD, York University, Bethune College, 4700 Keele St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3 (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.