Having your kids engage in athletic activities is good for their physical and mental health. However, one of the negative aspects of playing sports, particularly baseball, can lead to multiple injuries. Learn the most common injuries for youth baseball players and how to treat them to guarantee your child is in good hands.
Little League pitchers are the most vulnerable to injuries, notably their shoulder or elbow. Since your child’s arm hasn’t fully developed, overusing it could lead to osteochondrosis of the proximal humeral epiphysis, otherwise known as “Little League shoulder.”
This condition happens when the growth plate of the humerus, or upper arm bone, joins the scapula to enlarge the shoulder. Throwing a baseball repeatedly, especially with all their might while pitching, triggers an inflammatory reaction in the body, resulting in shoulder discomfort.
Suppose your kiddo complains about pain in their shoulder, head to their pediatrician because an X-ray will show the current enlarged growth plate. The best remedy for this ailment is rest, although it may be challenging for your child to sit out the recommended three months without toeing the rubber. Explain to them that rest is the optimal solution for their long-term health; hopefully, they will understand.
“Little League” Elbow
Sadly, the shoulder isn’t your only concern, as their elbow is also vulnerable to an injury. The same type of deal occurs with growth plate inflammation, but it’s in the elbow instead of the shoulder. A growing child’s ligaments and tendons around their elbow will cause shooting pain in the inner portion of the elbow. This type of injury is
unavoidable for many pitchers, considering the number of Tommy John surgeries in professional baseball. Limiting the number of pitches they throw does help, as well as taking their favorite bat out of their hands because swinging can exacerbate the strained elbow.
Scrapes & Raspberries
Learning how to slide correctly is something that even MLB players can’t master. Therefore, scrapes and raspberries on their arms and legs are extremely common for youth baseball players. While some of these can look gnarly, treating them is relatively simple. Clean hands, antibiotic ointments, and bandages heal and protect the wound. The only predicament that prolongs raspberries is when children pick at them.
Concussion From a Collision
Children aren’t as fundamentally sound as professional players, so they’re more prone to collisions. If the collision is jarring enough, they could suffer a minor concussion. When two kids crash into one another on the basepaths, they should immediately leave the game, so as not to worsen the effects of a possible concussion, and go to their pediatrician. Even if they say they are fine, there could be some underlying issues that neither of you notices.
Recognizing and treating the most common injuries for youth baseball players ensures that your kiddo remains healthy and fully enjoys the game they love. And if you notice any of the warning signs for any of these possible injuries, shut it down immediately to get them checked out.