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Health and Safety Initiative

Knee Injuries

The New York Times Sunday Magazine has published an excellent article on the risk of injuries in young women athletes, with specific emphasis on soccer-related ACL injuries. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/magazine/11Girls-t.html?hp)

The article’s focus is on soccer but ACL injuries occur in all sports that involve running, jumping or changing direction on the run, so all sports.  As many of us know, the consequences of an ACL tear can be extensive. Surgery is effective but the rehab program is difficult and long. The injured player can be out of sports for six to nine months and it may take a year or more to achieve his/her pre-injury athletic status.  Even after successful surgical repair of his/her torn ACL, the injured athlete is at increased risk for knee arthritis later in life.

The NYT article makes two key points: First, the risk of ACL injuries is daunting, especially in young women athletes.  Second, a “Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance" (aka PEP) program may be able to decrease this risk.

A recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Jan 11, 2010, pages 43-49, accompanying editorial on pages 10-11, link) concluded that a physical exercise program designed for female soccer players reduced the incidence of knee injuries. 

This is excellent example of a performance-enhancing injury-prevention program which can be incorporated into practices and pre-game warm-ups.

A video demonstrating four knee-strengthening exercises can be found on the NYT website here.

In the Spring of 2010 the MSC Board initiated a program for older female teams (U13 and above) to encourage the teams to incorporate preventive strengthening exercises into regular practice sessions. The Board is excited about this innovative program.

Concussions

MSC CONCUSSION POLICY
It is the responsibility of the player and the player’s family to seek medical consultation for all injuries. This responsibility is particularly important as it relates to head trauma which can have subtle, yet serious symptoms.
 
A concussion is a head trauma which induces an alteration in mental status that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. The hallmarks of concussion are confusion and loss of memory which can occur immediately after the injury or many minutes later. Other symptoms include headache, imbalance, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
 
The prognosis for complete recovery is good if the concussion is managed appropriately.  All management guidelines agree that athletes suspected of having a concussion should be removed from play immediately and should not return until cleared by a medical professional.
 
MSC strongly encourages all athletes who have sustained head trauma to seek medical attention. It is the responsibility of the player and the player’s family to make sure that an appropriate medical evaluation is performed. Any player who has sustained a head injury cannot return to practice or games until cleared by a medical professional. 

This is a link to the CDC website which has guidelines and information about concussions.

Ankle Injuries

Review of common pediatric athletic injuries by Dr. Jordan Metzl. Some if not most of the article is quite technical but the sections on  the management of ankle injuries are very helpful and informative.   

Hydration 

A NYT article asks the question, "Are sports drinks actually good for kids?"  The answer is "a qualified 'yes'".  The key points are:

  • Many young athletes do not drink enough and become dehydrated
  • Even a 1-2% reduction in body mass due to dehydration reduces aerobic performance in 10- to12-year-old boys
  • Children are more likely to drink flavored beverages

Cold Weather Guidelines

For ENYYS cold weather guidelines, please click here.

Influenza Update 

The CDC has answers to common questions regarding the flu at this site

To prevent influenza:
  • Talk to your doctor about the influenza vaccine
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid close contact with sick people

If you think your child has influenza, the CDC recommends that they stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.  Children with the flu should obviously not go to practice or games.  Common symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue