Each year, more than 448,000 football-related injuries to youths under age 15 are treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms.

The total cost of these football-related injuries was more than $6.89 billion in 1999. (Includes medical, legal and liability, work loss and pain and suffering costs.)

Protective equipment is one of the most important factors in minimizing the risk of injury in football. Play It Safe and wear the equipment required by most youth football leagues:

  • Helmet
  • Shoulder pads, hip pads, tail pads, knee pads
  • Pants (one piece or shell)
  • Thigh guards
  • Jersey
  • Mouthguard (A keeper strap is required.)
  • Athletic supporter
  • Shoes (In some leagues, players can wear sneakers or non-detachable, rubber cleated shoes. Detachable cleats of a soft-composition also are allowed in some leagues. Check with your coach about the type of shoe allowed in your league.)

If eyeglasses must be worn by a player, they should be of approved construction with non-shattering glass (safety glass). Contact lenses also can be worn.

Source: Pop Warner Football, Official Rule Book, and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
(For a free Play It Safe brochure, call the Academy’s public service telephone number (800) 824-BONES or send a stamped, self-addressed (business size) envelope to Play It Safe, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, P.O. Box 1998, Des Plaines, IL. 60017.)