COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? The University of South Carolina is participating in a national study that is taking a closer look at the types of injuries suffered by youth football players, and whether or not those injuries can have lasting effects.
South Carolina, one of the three states working with USA Football on the study which puts athletic training on youth football fields to treat and track injury rates across youth football leagues and recreation football programs in South Carolina.
Trainers are placing accelerometers behind some playerâ??s ears to study the impact of hits on a player. Itâ??s part of an initiative to study-and then combat- concussion and head injuries in sports.
The USC program is teaming with the Marcus Lattimore Foundation, which is helping sponsor the program as a way to give back to the community.
According to the StopSportsInjuries.org, the most common injuries that occur during youth football games and practices are traumatic injuries, such as concussions, injuries to the ACL/PCL, cartilage of the knee, and shoulder injuries.
Other common injuries in football players are overuse injuries and heat injuries.
Among athletes ages 5 to 14, 28 percent of percent of football players are injured.
Here are some ways football injuries can be prevented:
- Have a pre-season health and wellness evaluation
- Perform proper warm-up and cool-down routines
- Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching
- Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize cramps
- Stay active during summer break to prepare for return to sports in the fall
- Wear properly fitted protective equipment, such as a helmet, pads, and mouthguard
- Tackle with the head up and do not lead with the helmet
- Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about football injuries or football injury prevention strategies