Injury Prevention

Baseball & Softball

In 1998, more than 91,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries, and nearly 26,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated for softball-related injuries. Three to four children die from baseball injuries each year.

Baseball- and softball-related injuries involve the head more than any other part of the body. Protective equipment, safe playing environments and playing by the rules help to prevent injuries from occurring while teaching your child safe ways to have fun.

Review the following safety recommendations with your children, and teach them how to have fun and be safe on the baseball and softball fields.

Safety Tips

Equipment

  • Have children use the appropriate safety gear including batting helmets, catcher’s gear, athletic supporters and cups and protective eyewear for children with glasses or contacts.
  • Inspect playing equipment (bats, balls and gloves) to make sure it is in good condition.
  • Encourage children to wear cleats to reduce slips and falls.
  • Make sure they are aware of the injury potential when sliding into a base.

Playing the Game Correctly

  • Teach young players how to play correctly, especially when batting and pitching.
  • Have children play with other children of the same skill level, physical maturity and weight.
  • Educate players on appropriate techniques for stretching and strengthening.
  • Make sure your child learns proper throwing techniques such as: releasing the ball out in front of the body after the arm passes the head, use a smooth throwing motion and keeping his/her eyes on the target.
  • A child should not play if experiencing persistent pain, loss of motion or X-ray abnormalities.

Extra Precautions

  • Keep players hydrated. Make water available before, during and after all games and practices – especially on hot days. Although water is preferred, sports drinks and juices are good alternatives. Avoid drinks containing caffeine because they can further dehydrate the body.
  • Make sure there is adult supervision.
  • Inform the coach of any medical conditions your child may have.
  • Make sure a person certified in CPR and first aid is present at all games and practices.
  • Have your child wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. It also should be sweat and water-resistant and reapplied every 2-4 hours.
  • Be familiar with RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. This is effective for most minor sprains and strains associated with athletic injury.
  • Clear the playing field of garbage and debris, and make sure there are no holes or stumps in the infield or outfield.

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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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