The wonderful game of baseball is as American as apple pie. Little League baseball teams is a great way for our youth to engage in this sport. Little League offers league teams for kids 5-15 years of age.
However, as with any sport, injuries can occur. Some little league injuries can be avoided. There are preventative measures that can be taken to help to ensure a positive playing experience for any young ball player.
Most Common Types Of Little League Injuries
Only about 8% of young baseball players experience injuries per year according to Pediatrics magazine, Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. They list the injuries in this order:
Of the 8%-
*37% are contusions/abrasions
*26% were fractures
*37% a combination of strains, sprains, concussions, internal injuries, and dental injuries.
Also children, in this age range, are vulnerable to blunt chest injuries. This area of a child’s body is more elastic and more easily compressed.
Overuse injuries can occur from repetitive motion such as pitching or throwing. “Little League Elbow” and “Little League Shoulder” is a common occurrence with young pitchers. The elbow can become painful and swell. This stress can travel up to the arm and shoulder areas of the body. The shoulder can experience minor fractures.
Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness has evidence that shows, the older the child, the larger percent of injuries. Be sure to urge your young ball player to communicate any symptoms they may be experiencing. Some older players may try to “tough it out”. Have coaches try to dissuade this type of behavior.
Safety and Prevention
Proper safety equipment is essential. Protective equipment should always fit properly and be well maintained to prevent Little League injuries. This includes the use of approved:
*Proper baseball shoes with rubber spikes
*Helmets, masks, chest and neck protectors for all catchers
*Low-impact NOCSAE-approved baseballs
Game areas, ideally, should have protective fencing of dugouts and benches. Encourage the use of break-away bases.
Sliding should be encouraged using a feet first technique instead of head first to reduce the possiblity of head injuries. Ankle injuries occur from sliding improperly.
Limiting pitchers to under 200 throws a week and less than 90 throws a game can reduce stress in the elbow, arm, and neck areas. Have pitchers rotate pitching days. Try not to let them pitch several days back to back.
Have It Checked Out
To prevent long term health problems, it is recommended that you have your child checked by a physician if they complain or show symptoms of:
*Pain in their throwing arm
*Decrease in speed or accuracy
*Change in pitching style
*Trouble gripping objects.
*Swelling and or pain in the area of the elbow or shoulder
*Any trouble breathing after being hit in the chest
*Bruising in the chest area
*Headache, nausea, vertigo, memory loss, or blurred vision if hit in the head
If elbow, arm, ankle and shoulder symptoms are addressed quickly, several days rest with anti-inflammatory medications and ice may be all that is needed. Remind the player that several days rest is better than sitting the rest of the season on the bench.
Little League Injuries happen. Preventative measures can help keep your child safe and enjoy playing the game. Remember, proper equipment and preventive measures should be used in both games and practices.
Also, don’t forget to order your team baseball trading pins. The players love swapping pins with other teams and keeping them as souvenirs to remember the games they played.
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