With the weather getting warmer, we’re starting to think about getting our little ones ready for Little League by buying them the correct gear and preparing them for practice. While baseball is by no means a dangerous sport, it can present a very real risk of injuries from things like wild pitches, batted balls, and collisions on the field. It’s important to following proper guidelines in terms of proper gear and other safety measures to ensure your child stays safe during the big game.
Wearing the proper gear can go a long way toward preventing injuries. Players need to be sure they always have all the gear required by their league. It’s important as their parent or caregiver to provide them with the appropriate gear to keep them safe from injuries on the field.
Base paths are one of the most common places injuries happen, especially when players slide into base. Doctors have started recommending that leagues install breakaway bases in all of their playing fields. These bases, which snap onto grommets on an anchored rubber mat, can be dislodged when a runner slides into one, lessening the chances that a base runner will be injured. A normal base does not detach.
Before Starting the Game
Kids should get plenty of exercise before the season begins and be in the best shape possible before swinging a bat for the first time. It’s important to teach your child how to warm up and stretch before practice or a game.
During Game Play
Painful collisions can occur in baseball. It’s important to teach your kid that calling for the ball is important if there is any doubt as to who should field a ball. The coaches should practice this with the players and get them used to listening to each other’s voices.
While batting, it’s important for kids to stand confidently with feet planted in the batter’s box. Help your kids to never be afraid of the ball and practice with them at home in a safe environment. Make sure they know how to safely get out of the way if a pitch is headed toward them.
Pitching puts an enormous amount of strain on joints and tendons. Injuries to wrists, elbows, rotator cuffs, ligaments, and tendons can result from excessive pitching but can be avoided if players and coaches following simple guidelines. Make sure pitchers adhere to league rules regarding maximum number of inning they are allowed to throw. Make sure you as a parent are aware of this as well! Most leagues follow rules regarding the number of pitches kids can throw in a game.
Little League and American Sports Medicine Institute recommend:
7-8 years old: 50 pitches a day or 75 a week
9-10 years old: 75 pitches a day or 100 a week
11-12 years old: 85 pitches a day or 115 pitches a week
13-16 years old: 95 pitches a day
17-18 years old: 105 pitches a day
If your child is suffering from a sports-related injury, contact us for a free case evaluation today.
Get more Little League safety tips from Kids Health.