Concerns about concussions ahead of USA Cup

When it comes to kids' sports and concussions, football gets a majority of the attention, but soccer is also becoming a focus.

And with the start of the International Youth Tournament, Schwann’s USA Cup, in Blaine doctors want to raise awareness for the dangers soccer can pose.

"It's great growth here. In Blaine we are about to add another 20 or so soccer fields it's ballooning," said youth soccer coach Jack Xiong.

But with that growth, also comes the increased potential for injury, including concussions.

"If you look at total numbers, because there are so many playing soccer the number rank right behind football when it comes to concussions," said Dr. Jamie Peters of Alina Health Sports Medicine.

That makes safety, at this week's USA Cup in Blaine with more than 1,100 teams from around the world competing, paramount

Dr Jamie Peters has worked this event for 15 years, and says that major head injuries are all about paying attention to the details on the sidelines.

“At the USA Cup, because there are so many people, we take them straight to our facilities. We really want to make it as safe as possible by doing sideline evaluations, letting us know of any signs such as dizziness or confusion."

Peters says that he's seen the number of concussions rise over the years in Blaine, but the growing total, is not totally negative...

“I think we are doing a much better job identifying concussions. We are seeing more concussions, but that's not a bad thing because it means we are identifying the problems. The sport is fast, so we will definitely see concussions here."

Doctors and coaches both agree that totally preventing concussions on the pitch is not a true possibility, but playing cautiously, is one solution to limiting head injury in the sport.

Tim Peterson, a youth coach from Blaine agrees.

“I think the biggest thing is teaching how to play the game properly, that way they can protect themselves and play right...playing the game the right way, that's what it comes down to.”


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