The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that as many as 6 million kids under 18 are in baseball leagues and another 13 million play on their own.
Between 1994-2006, more than 1.5 million kids were hurt seriously enough on the field to go to the ER.
Most injuries were minor—muscle pulls, sprains, cuts and bruises. But more than 24,000 landed in the hospital.
One big injury area is from repeatedly pitching. Many leagues, schools and doctor groups have instituted “pitch counts,” how many times a kid of a certain age can throw.
Recommendations: Before the season, get a checkup of overall health and injury history.
Condition. Many injuries come at the beginning of the season, before kids are into the groove. Catchers need to condition to squat, too.
Before a game. Muscles should be warm, especially during growth spurts. Five to 10 mins of jogging is good, too.
The equipment is better these days—softer balls, breakaway bases, helmets with faceguards. All equipment should be properly fitted.
Don’t let your kid play for more than one team in a season and not year-round. Pitch and innings limits are crucial—down blow them off.