The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about how to prevent baseball and softball injuries. Also included is an overview of common injuries.
Injury Prevention and Safety Tips
Sports Physical Exam
Athletes should have a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE) to make sure they are ready to safely begin the sport. The best time for a PPE is about 4 to 6 weeks before the beginning of the season. Athletes also should see their doctors for routine well-child checkups.
Athletes should maintain a good fitness level during the season and off-season. Preseason training should allow time for general conditioning and sport-specific conditioning. Also important are proper warm-up and cool-down exercises.
Athletes should learn and practice safe techniques for performing the skills that are integral to their sport. For example, baseball and softball players should avoid headfirst slides, and run bases with a helmet and break-away bases. Athletes should work with coaches and athletic trainers on achieving proper technique.
Safety gear should fit properly and be well maintained
- Protective eyewear. Glasses or goggles should be made with polycarbonate or a similar material. The material should conform to the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials. Batting helmets and catcher’s masks with face masks also are recommended.
- Shoes with rubber (not metal) spikes
- Pads (knee and shin guards)
- Athletic supporters and cups for boys
- For catchers: helmets with face guards, throat guards, knee-saver pads, and chest protectors (Note: Chest protectors cannot prevent direct trauma to the heart.)
- For batters: batting helmets, face guards
- Safety baseballs (Softer balls decrease overall injury from getting struck by the ball in addition to lowering the risk of commotio cordis.)
- Heat. Proper hydration and scheduling practices and games during cooler times of the day can prevent heat-related illness and dehydration.
- Lightning. Guidelines should be in place to postpone play until a safer time. Play should be stopped for 30 minutes after the last strike if lightning is detected within a 6-mile radius (follow the 5 second per mile rule). A safe area (buildings with metal pipes or well-grounded wires) should be identified ahead of time. No one should stand under the bleachers or other non-grounded structures.
- The field. A safe playing field is free of debris; holes and uneven surfaces should be repaired. The infield and pitcher’s mounds should be raked and smoothed regularly. Evening games should be well lit. Breakaway bases should be used to reduce injuries from sliding. A runner’s base placed to the right of the first base foul line in the runner’s lane is one way to help prevent collisions at first base. Safety screens should be in place to protect the dugouts from balls and thrown bats.
Teams should develop and practice an emergency plan so that team members know their roles in emergency situations. The plan would include first aid and emergency contact information. All members of the team should receive a written copy each season. Parents also should be familiar with the plan and review it with their children.
General Treatment for Acute Injuries
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is the first step in treating an acute injury accompanied by pain and swelling. Athletes should stop playing and apply ice directly to the injured area for 20 minutes. After icing, an ACE bandage can be used to limit swelling. The injured area should be raised above the heart to limit swelling.
Shoulder impingement is an overuse injury that causes achy pain on the front or side of the shoulder. The pain is felt most when the arm is overhead or extended to the side. Shoulder impingement is common in young athletes with weak upper back and shoulder muscles. Off-season stretching of the back of the shoulder and strengthening of the shoulder blade and core muscles can help prevent these injuries.
Baseball pitchers and other high-volume throwers (for example, catchers) are at risk for Little League shoulder, an irritation to the growth plate in the humerus bone of the shoulder. Limiting the number of pitches a player can throw during a practice or game can help prevent these types of overuse injuries (pitch count guidelines based on age are published by USA Baseball). Any athlete who has shoulder pain for more than 7 to 10 days should see a doctor.
Elbow injuries are very common in baseball players, especially pitchers, and include Little League elbow (irritation of the growth plate of the humerus bone of the elbow). As with shoulder injuries, limiting the number of pitches a player throws during a practice or game can help prevent overuse injuries.
Ankle injuries often occur as a result of uneven playing fields or sliding into bases, or from improper rehabilitation/ protection after injury. Fields should be well maintained and breakaway bases should be used. Use of ankle braces and ankle exercises that strengthen and improve balance of the ankles may prevent repeat injury.
Eye injuries typically occur from contact with the ball, bat, or a finger. Any injury that affects vision or is associated with swelling or blood inside the eye should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Athletes should also stay a safe distance away from any player swinging a bat or playing catch. The AAP recommends that children involved in organized sports wear appropriate protective eyewear.
Athletes who are dizzy or confused, or complain of a headache, are most likely suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Any athlete suspected of having heat illness should immediately be removed from play, cooled by any means available, and transported by emergency medical services (call 911).
Heat-related illnesses can be prevented when athletes are given adequate time to get used to exercising in the heat (usually takes 1 to 2 weeks). Drinking water or a sports drink before, during, and after training, as well as avoiding stimulants including caffeine, can also help.
Sudden death as a result of a significant impact to the chest is known as commotio cordis. The usual cause is impact from a baseball, lacrosse ball, or puck, or a direct blow in football or hockey. Recognition and resuscitation alone are rarely successful; however, if available an automated external defibrillator can successfully resuscitate athletes with this condition.
Baseball and softball injuries can be prevented when fair play is encouraged and the rules of the game are enforced. Also, athletes should use the appropriate equipment and safety guidelines should always be followed.
Source Article: www.healthychildren.org
Core Training – Discover the Finest Core Training for Athlete
The core contains the four muscle groups which make up the core region of the body. These muscle groups contain top of the abs, the reduced abs, the obliques, and the muscles at your lower back. It’s important for the trainer to focus not just on these groups of muscles, but on your system as well. Complete core training for athletes is the main element of a well-balanced core training exercise routine.
There are so many health benefits that come along with keeping fit. Here are some easy ideas that could support you obtain began in your core training exercise!
Get turning everybody else! Performing the ‘pose’ or salsa dance is a good way to start building your core training workout. The turning helps you to secure and solidify your core. Pose that fat off your body like you did last time’.
Discover ways to do some easy complete human body extends and do them every day! Get 15-20 minutes and extend your core! Extending is vital to getting excellent freedom and blocking injury. Every core training exercise includes some sort of extending workouts!
Begin performing some balances. Stay on a single base and seize the elevated base together with your other give (behind your back) and stability yourself for half an hour! Use your free give to assist you to hold yourself steady. Move and do another side. Handling is perfect for your core training exercise! Your Core muscles will be the muscles that supply you with the power to help keep your balance. When you have difficulty in keeping your stability on a single platform, then you have to undertake a core training workout.
Training as a Core Trainer
Core conditioning certification is no more limited to gyms or exercise groups today. You can acquire Core training accreditation from prestigious universities. However, these levels aren’t just accessible in-campus but are also accessible online; thus, making it simpler for all who wish to become skilled trainers.
Any sports fan has watched the replays. They may be gruesome, but human nature is to watch them over and over again. No, it is not the lowlights of professional basketball or soccer teams, but rather it is the replays of injuries that occur to star athletes. Most recently, Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback, Michael Vick, fractured his right leg in a pre-season football game. Earlier in the summer, Cincinnati Reds centerfielder, Ken Griffey Jr., dislocated his shoulder in a baseball game. Both injuries were repeatedly shown on news broadcasts, as well as many other times on television.
Fractures and dislocations are two of the more serious types of injuries that can occur during an athletic event. Early recognition and prompt medical treatment are extremely important with these injuries in both young, up-and-coming athletes, as well as professional athletes.
Dislocations are forceful disruptions of the bones that make up a joint. In Griffey’s case, his shoulder separated from the shoulder socket when he dove for a fly ball and the impact from the ground caused the displacement.
A fracture is when the bone has a complete, or incomplete, break. Vick’s fractured right fibula was a clean fracture, which aids in the healing process. His injury was caused by a tackle when he was running to pick up extra yardage on a broken pass play.
Signs and symptoms of fractures and dislocations are similar, including obvious deformity or abnormality of the affected area, increased point tenderness directly over the affected bone, swelling (possibly significant), and possible numbness.
If a fracture or dislocation is suspected:
- Splint the injured body part in a comfortable position
- Apply elastic wrap to support splint and apply pressure
- Use ice over area to control pain and swelling
- Transport the athlete for further evaluation by a physician
Do not attempt to reduce or relocate a dislocated joint yourself! This should only be done by a physician.
Professional athletes are fortunate enough to have athletic trainers and team physicians nearby if they sustain an injury. Most young athletes do not have a team physician at their event to help assess and diagnose the injury immediately. Therefore, parents must determine the best course of action for their child.
In case of a serious or life-threatening medical emergency, always call 911. If it is not a life-threatening emergency, then the first call should always be to your pediatrician or family doctor to determine what is best for the child. If the physician has office hours, then they may ask you to bring your child in immediately. If not, they may direct you to an urgent care center or emergency room.
Children’s Close To HomeSM Health Care Centers which feature Urgent Care services offer treatment for illnesses and injuries that need immediate attention but do not need to be handled by a hospital emergency department. Treatment for the following conditions is provided:
- Possible broken bones/simple fractures (facility will perform x-rays and initial treatment)
- Minor cuts that may need stitches
- Minor/small burns
- Sprains and strains
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Asthma (mild or moderate wheezing)
- Mild allergic reactions
Refer to the emergency department for treatment of the following conditions:
- Obvious broken bone in the leg or arm
- Major trauma/injuries
- Injuries following a motor vehicle crash, being struck by a motor vehicle, or a fall from a height
- Serious head injury (with loss of consciousness, changes in normal behavior, multiple episodes of vomiting)
- Burns with blisters or white areas, or large burns
- Severe difficulty breathing/respiratory distress
- Fever in infants 8 weeks of age or less
- Severe pain
Again, fractures and dislocations are two of the more serious types of injuries that can occur during an athletic event. They can happen to the strongest and most conditioned athletes, as well as those athletes learning the fundamentals for the first time. Receiving prompt and proper treatment is key to returning to play quickly and not breaking stride.