As summer approaches, more children will be out on the baseball diamond. Unfortunately, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that more than 627,000 baseball-related injuries each year are treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospital emergency rooms. There are some tips, however, to prevent injuries on the field.
Before your kids even head to the field, make sure they get a physical exam. By identifying any potential medical problems, you can avoid injuries or illnesses down the road. Also, make sure to stretch and warm up before practices and games. Stretching and warming up your muscles can significantly reduce the chances of sustaining pulled muscle.
Ensure Appropriate Equipment and Its Use
Make sure equipment fits properly and is worn correctly. Helmets, protective face shields, protective catcher’s gear, and proper shoes can all help prevent baseball injuries.
Focus on Technique
Players under the age of 10 should not be taught to slide. Also, there are established guidelines for youth baseball concerning the number of pitches thrown according to age. The USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee has guidelines on the number of pitches by age. Coaches and trainers should know and adhere to these guidelines.
Safe Return to Play
Before an injured player returns to play, all the symptoms must be completely gone. For joint problems, there should be no swelling or pain, and full range of motion is essential. For overuse injuries, gradually return to a throwing program.
Always remember that communication amongst the athlete, coach, doctor, and parents is key to diagnosing and treating baseball injuries.