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www.wmfd.com - The baseball season has begun and it's not just the big leaguers who are taking to the field. }}" />

   
 
 
Health Minute Explores Baseball Safety

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 4/7/2013

The baseball season has begun and it's not just the big leaguers who are taking to the field.

  Youth baseball and softball are underway as well, and Holly Firfer has more on what's been changed tells us how to stay safe while playing the game.

Baseball and softball are among the most popular sports for young people.

  Not only are they good exercise, but they help children develop hand-eye coordination, learn to play as a team, and help with concentration skills.

  And though these sports are among the safest kids can play, doctors say take precautions when on the field.

  Pitchers are often the most injury prone because of overuse injuries.

  Pitching too often or too long can lead to shoulder and elbow injuries.

  To combat this, the American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines that suggest limiting pitch counts and innings pitched.

  It's also recommended kids wait until they are 14 or older to throw curve balls and at least 16 to throw sliders.

  Compared to other sports, baseball players have the highest sports-related eye injuries in children.

  Players should wear protective gear like batting helmets, padding and eye protection to reduce the risk of injury.

  Youth leagues generally use softer baseballs than in year's past, breakaway bases to reduce sliding injuries, and rubber instead of metal spikes, safety improvements that help keep kids in the game.

 

   
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