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Soccer Safety in Rain

Some tips on avoiding injury while playing on a wet field

MONDAY, May 26, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Soccer is a favorite pastime for millions of children, but like all sports, it has its risks.

Every year, more than half a million children are injured while playing soccer, and some of those injuries occur on wet fields.

Many communities cancel soccer games at the first sign of drizzle in the interest of safety, and to preserve their fields. However, others don't. If your children play in a league that only cancels games when fields are completely flooded, there are a few things you should know about keeping them safe.

First, children should only be playing with synthetic, non-absorbent soccer balls when it's raining. Standard leather balls soak up the water and become very heavy when it's raining, which increases the chance of injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Generally, children should wear molded cleats to reduce the risk of injury, but if they're playing on a wet field, the AAOS recommends using shoes with screw-in cleats for better traction.

If a thunderstorm is approaching, the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Organization recommends using the 30-30 rule. When you see lightening, slowly count how long it is until you hear the thunder clap. If it is less than 30 seconds between the lightening and the thunder, get to proper shelter immediately and stay there for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap. Trees and outdoor pavilions are not proper shelters -- get inside your car or into a building.

More information

For more information on injuries in soccer, read this policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCES: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Massachusetts Youth Soccer Organization; American Academy of Pediatrics
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