Blisters from new football boots can do more than slow down budding stars - they have the potential to kill, Birmingham specialists have warned.
Doctors reported two cases of toxic shock in young footballers, caused by infected blisters from new boots.
Both players, a girl aged 13 and an 11-year-old boy, were treated in hospital and survived.
But toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is known to have a five per cent fatality rate in children.
The two cases linked to football boots were reported in the British Medical Journal today by Dr Mark Taylor and a team at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Both children suffered friction blisters over their Achilles tendons which became infected with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
The girl had two centimetre-wide blisters over both heels after playing a competitive game of football in new boots. "The next day she developed fever, lethargy, and vomiting," the doctors wrote.
She was admitted to hospital with a rash that covered her body, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and abnormally low blood pressure.
After four days she was transferred to a specialist unit as her kidneys began to fail.
She was nursed back to health with powerful antibiotics, but still suffered extensive skin peeling.