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With the weather warming, soccer and other warm weather sports will be in full swing before long. This year my boys are considering soccer. I was okay with that. I always thought of soccer as safer than football and hockey--never giving safety equipment beyond shin guards much thought until my dentist at First Choice Dental told me about a campaign that they are involved in to get more kids, especially soccer players, fitted for mouth guards. Apparently head and facial injuries account for more than 20% of soccer injuries and a significant number of those are concussions. Very scary! The mouth guard idea sounded like a good one to me so I was surprised when I read Dr. David Bernhardt's Isthmus article from 9/30/10 stating that the Executive Director of the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association was also concerned about facial and head injuries but that his proposed remedies consisted of two things. First, he proposed "baseline cognitive testing" so that cognitive effects can be detected, and second, he advocates teaching proper technique for "heading" the ball to prevent injury. While these two ideas are good, it doesn't go far enough. As a Mom, I have already bought into the idea that mouth guards are a good idea and I will be getting both of my boys fitted for mouth guards at First Choice. If you need more convincing, consider the fact that when we were growing up we didn't "buckle up" when we rode in a car and we didn't wear bicycle helmets. Now it's considered bad parenting or even against the law if we don't subscribe to these practices. These were always good ideas. They just weren't widely subscribed to. Soccer Moms, let's get this ball rolling by protecting our kids noggins huh?
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