This is a sponsored post.
Spring means it’s time for baseball. As youth leagues across the country are gearing up for another exciting baseball season, the physician experts at Orthopaedic Institute for Children are advising parents and coaches to be mindful of some basic safety guidelines that will keep kids safe and in the game – from opening day through the end of the season.
“Injuries have become increasingly common for youth baseball players,” said Dr. Jennifer Beck, associate director of the Orthopaedic Institute for Children’s Center of Sports Medicine in Los Angeles. “A lot of attention has focused on safety for youth pitchers, who can easily injure their growing arms by throwing the ball too hard, too often and without proper rest. But the fact is any player at any position is at risk for injury without proper safety precautions.”
Dr. Beck advises parents and coaches to work together to ensure that players.
Don’t skip the warm-ups. Dr. Beck advises coaches to make sure their players are warming up properly, including stretching, jogging and light ball throwing. Preparing the muscles for more strenuous exercise can help prevent strains and sprains and can help improve performance.
Ease into throwing and swinging. It’s been a long off season. Players should not throw the ball too hard or take full swings right away. The first few practices should be about loosening up and reinforcing proper mechanics.
Drink enough fluids. Dehydration can make your muscles more susceptible to damage. Players should drink water before, during and after practice and games.
Never play through pain. Persistent pain should not be ignored. Left untreated simple injuries can become complicated conditions. Particularly when it comes to the elbows and shoulders, it is never okay for youth ballplayers to play through the pain.
In addition, Dr. Beck encourages all coaches and parents to follow the Pitch Smart campaign guidelines that are endorsed by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball. The guidelines provide pitch count limits by age group and encourage younger athletes to play other positions, not just pitcher. “Injuries related to overuse can be prevented with this type of common sense approach,” she says.
Players should be monitored for fatigue and should never play when they feel sore. Rest, ice and ibuprofen can help reduce soreness and inflammation, but if pain persists parents should contact a physician.
“It is important to get good pediatric orthopaedic care if your child suffers from a sports-related injury,” said Dr. Beck. “Failure to address a sports injury properly can lead to lifelong problems.”
This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Orthopaedic Institute for Children
About Orthopaedic Institute for Children
Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) was founded in 1911 as Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital. Focused solely on musculoskeletal conditions in children, Orthopaedic Institute for Children receives 60,000 patient visits each year. In alliance with UCLA Health and with the support of the OIC Foundation, we advance pediatric orthopaedics worldwide through outstanding patient care, medical education and research. Our locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Westwood and Calexico treat the full spectrum of pediatric orthopaedic disorders and injuries. For more information, visit us at ortho-institute.org.