Attention all youth soccer parents…
It’s no secret – skepticism about the safety of artificial turf has been on the soccer community’s radar for quite some time… but it was not until last year when the voices of the ‘anti-artificial turf advocates’ grew louder than ever…
Some scary evidence around the potential connection of artificial turf’s infamous ‘black rubber dots’ – which are rubber pellets made from recycled tire crumbs – to cancer-related health risks perked a lot of parents’ ears up. While many follow-up studies have found no direct linkage between the synthetic pellets and long-term health risks, the information gathering and research remains in the early days – much like the concussion conundrum currently plaguing ‘American football’.
But the less severe, day-to-day injury risks associated with artificial turf are still widely apparent, causing an uproar at all levels of soccer, from high school all the way up to the US women’s national team. More robust scientific studies have varied in their conclusions regarding injury prevalence associated with artificial turf, but a few have noted that recent improvements in artificial turf technology have in fact reduced injury risk – just refer to one of the more recently published reports from August 2017 conducted by Nara Medical University in Japan.
While the battle over artificial turf continues to rage on, as a parent of a young soccer player who may very likely be exposed to synthetic playing surfaces, you must control what YOU can control. So, where’s a good place to start? Making sure your child is equipped with the right shoes – shoes that have been specifically designed for optimal performance on the rubber-based pitch…