Yes to Safe play for our kids

The proposed synthetic turf fields are located behind Deerpath Middle School, which also includes the fields North East of the school building, where DPM students currently have recess (City of Lake Forest Field Assessment (Sept, 2020), page 34). Students will not only play on the synthetic fields during physcial education and extracurricular activities but also every day during recess.

 

We don't believe that middle school students should be playing on plastic that leaches chemicals into the air and watershed. During the summer the children deserve better than to play on surfaces that measures 40F higher than the air temperature, where they risk blistering if they fall and touch the ground. 

 

We believe safe play is not just for athletes but for all children in our community.

 

Abrasion Injuries

Synthetic turf is significantly more abrasive than well-maintained natural turfgrass. [1]

Example: In the 2020/21 season both LFHS varsity soccer goalies experienced severe turf burns on legs, arms and torso from playing on the synthetic turf field at LFHS. Other LFHS soccer players have also experienced turf burns and subsequent infections of turf abrasion sites, often necessitating wound care and antibiotic treatment.

 

Synthetic turf can reach surface temperatures of up to 160 degrees F on hot sunny days. [2]

This can cause thermal burns in athletes upon contact with the synthetic turf and additional heat stress-related health effects.

Topic Orthopedic Injuries

Data collected by NFL between 2012-2018 shows higher rates of lower extremity injuries on synthetic turf compared to natural turfgrass. [3] Studies also show that ACL and Achilles tendon injuries are much more likely to occur on synthetic turf than on natural turfgrass. [4]

The NFL Players Association is asking the NFL to proactively change all field surfaces to natural turfgrass. [5]

On synthetic turf:

  • 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries compared to natural turfgrass

  • 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries compared to natural turfgrass

  • 69% higher rate of non-contact foot/ankle injuries compared to natural turfgrass 

 

By converting natural grass fields to synthetic turf, the risk of career-ending injuries to our athletes and children is unnecessarily increased.

 

Why change our natural turf field to synthetic turf if even professional athletes do not want synthetic turf?

Professional Athletes prefer natural turfgrass over synthetic turf as “artificial turf is significantly harder on the body than grass” (NFLPA President JC Tretter). [5]

The NFL Players Association opposes synthetic turf. [5]

The Soccer U.S. Men’s National Team Players Association opposes synthetic turf. [6]

The Soccer U.S. Women’s National Team opposes synthetic turf. [7]

The International Soccer governing body FIFA will only allow natural turfgrass fields at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. [7, 8]

 

 

References

1. Crichton-Stuart, C. Medical News Today: How to treat turf burn. 2018; Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322605.

2. Jim, C.Y., Solar–terrestrial radiant-energy regimes and temperature anomalies of natural and artificial turfs. Applied Energy, 2016. 173: p. 520-534.

3. Mack, C.D., et al., Higher Rates of Lower Extremity Injury on Synthetic Turf Compared With Natural Turf Among National Football League Athletes: Epidemiologic Confirmation of a Biomechanical Hypothesis. Am J Sports Med, 2019. 47(1): p. 189-196.

4. Loughran, G.J., et al., Incidence of Knee Injuries on Artificial Turf Versus Natural Grass in National Collegiate Athletic Association American Football: 2004-2005 Through 2013-2014 Seasons. Am J Sports Med, 2019. 47(6): p. 1294-1301.

5. Tretter, J.C. NFLPA President’s Corner: Only Natural Grass Can Level The NFL’s Playing Field. 2020; Available from: https://nflpa.com/posts/only-natural-grass-can-level-the-nfls-playing-field.

6. McCann, A. FiveThirtyEight.com: U.S. Men’s Soccer, But Not Women’s, Gets To Play All Its Games On Grass. 2015; Available from: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/us-mens-soccer-but-not-womens-gets-to-play-all-its-games-on-grass/.

7. Armour, N. USA Today: Settlement means U.S. women's national soccer team will no longer have to play matches on artificial turf. 2020; Available from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2020/12/01/uswnt-turns-focus-back-equal-pay-after-resolving-workplace-claims/3788222001/.

8. Harris, R. AP News: FIFA will not allow artificial fields at 2023 Women’s WCup. 2019; Available from: https://apnews.com/article/c54d2025b7c84ad982240d860b3a91dd