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Medstar Health Monday - Week 19

Ali Kreager wears headgear, should you?

Protective headgear is a rising topic in youth soccer athletes. Many parents are now asking, “Should my
son or daughter be wearing headgear to protect them from head injuries?” The honest answer is, we still
do not know. There is not enough research to support mandating headgear for youth soccer athletes.
Most research does support that protective headgear decreases the force of a soccer ball when making
contact with the player’s head. However, not all research supports headgear preventing a head injury.
The greatest defense against head injuries from heading the ball is learning proper heading techniques
at a young age. Most coaching handbooks recommend waiting to head the ball until the player is 12 years
of age, but recently some handbooks suggest waiting until the age of 14. This recommendation is based
off of the fact that the athlete’s neck musculature is more developed. Proper heading techniques are
striking the ball just below the hairline on the frontal bone while also contracting the neck musculature.
By performing this technique, the body creates one rigid unit to disperse the ball’s forces and protects the
athlete’s head. Teaching this technique at the appropriate age is crucial in protecting youth athletes and
their future careers in sports and in life.

Click to read more about Ali Kreagers protective headgear

Click hear to learn about concussion myths and facts

Baltimore Union Sports Medicine Team

Union Sports Medicine Liaison: Bryan Caplan, DPT, MTC ([email protected])
Athletic Trainer:Amber Radtke, MS, LAT, ATC, NASM-CES ([email protected])
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jay Dyer, CSCS ([email protected])
Vice President of MedStar Sport Medicine: Sean Huffman
Director of MedStar Sports Medicine Research: Andy Lincoln

Baltimore City (Harbor Hospital)
Physician: Jeffrey Mayer, Leigh Ann Curl
Sports PT: Chadd Baldwin
Concussion PT: Emily Coates

Baltimore County (Franklin Square)
Urgent Care: MedStar Franklin Square ED
Physician: Frank Dawson, David Cohen, Christopher Looze
Sports PT: Ryan Zimmerman
Concussion PT: Michael Ariete, Jana Bille

Baltimore County (Dundalk)
Physician: Kelly Ryan
Sports & Concussion PT: Laura Long

Baltimore County (Timonium)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care Towson
Physician: Andrew Tucker, Richard Levine, Melita Moore
Sports PT: Chad Keller
Concussion PT: Patrick Miller

Harford County (Bel Air)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care
Physician: Sean Curtain
Sports PT: Chelsea Mitchell
Concussion PT: Adrienne Nelson
Concussion PT: Tori Palmer

Baltimore County (Perry Hall)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care
Sports PT: Stephanie Stover
Concussion PT: Mark Musselman

MedStar Sports Medicine is the official medical team for the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Blast, Washington Spirit, and more than 50 additional professional, collegiate, high school, and club teams.


Amber Radtke

Bryan Caplan
-Physical Therapist

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