Sports Safety: The Manual Every Parent Needs

Any activity can be accident-free if you help your child follow these key injury-prevention rules.

Baseball/Softball

Most Common Injuries

Face and head injuries, ankle and wrist sprains and strains

Preventive Measures

Child with injured knee

Have your child wear a snug-fitting batting helmet with an ear protector and a face guard, which will also protect against eye injuries while batting. Make sure your child's league uses breakaway bases, which can be dislodged by a sliding runner, minimizing the risk of ankle injuries. (If the league doesn't use them, gently pressure the coach to get them; consider taking up a collection from parents or having a fund-raiser to pay for them, since they are more expensive than the old' fashioned variety.)

Find out if the coach limits the number of throws to decrease the risk of elbow and shoulder injuries. Be sure your child's baseball mitt fits securely enough so that it won't fall off easily but isn't so tight she can't move her fingers.

Often-Overlooked Safety Move

If your child is prone to ankle injuries, have her tape her ankles (ask the coach to show you how to do this) or wear ankle braces during play (Aircast or McDavid are good brands; both are available at major sporting goods stores).

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