Is Heading A Soccer Ball Dangerous?
For any parent whose child plays a competitive sport, injuries can be an understandable concern.
Recently, several articles have been published regarding the dangers of children heading a soccer ball, including:
- New York Times: A New Worry for Soccer Parents: Heading the Ball
- USA Today: Heading a soccer ball 'could lead to brain damage'
- Forbes: Heading A Soccer Ball Causes Brain Damage -- Maybe
However, in reality, the risk for concussion is not in heading the ball in youth soccer; it is in head to head, head to knee, and head to goal post contact.
It's important that young soccer players are taught proper heading technique early on.
Additionally, dangerous heading — like head to head contact, for example — should be treated as a foul by the official (just like dangerous play in football) with a yellow or red card.