The popularity of soccer among American youth is at an all-time high. Nearly 14 million young athletes (13,832,000 ) under the age of 18 play soccer at elite and recreational levels in the United States.
The rapid growth of youth soccer participation in recent years, coupled with an increased need for qualified and certified coaches, has made ensuring the safety of youth soccer players more important than ever before. Moreover, new youth soccer research from the University of Connecticut and serious cases of heat illness in the past few years across a variety of sports has prompted the U.S. Soccer Federation to issue an updated version of its "Youth Soccer Heat Stress Guidelines." The aim is to help parents, young athletes and coaches understand one of the most common and most preventable sports injuries – heat-related illnesses, including dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The following information and youth heat stress guidelines provide suggestions for preventing the potentially dangerous and sometimes deadly effects of playing in hot or humid conditions.
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