As spring approaches, many young hearts and minds start turning to baseball season. Little league remains one of the most popular spring and summer outlets for children and teens, but that also means an increase in trips to the E.R. for baseball related injuries. Beyond the garden-variety scrapes and bruises young players frequently get while sliding in the dirt, let’s look at some of the more common youth baseball injuries, how they are treated medically and how to reduce the risk.
Sprains and Strains
Muscle strains account for nearly a third of youth baseball-related injuries; sprains (tearing of ligaments) account for another 16 percent of them. Many of these injuries can be easily averted by warming up and doing a few stretches before starting game play. When they happen, they are usually treated by applying ice to reduce swelling and immobilizing the injured area with a sling or brace until it heals.
Fractures or Broken Bones
On occasion, a child slides the wrong way into base or collides with another player, causing a fracture or break in an arm or leg. Pre-game warmups and stretches can reduce this risk. A break frequently means the player is out for the season; it generally takes six weeks in a cast for a bone to heal.
One commonly overlooked risk in baseball is eye injury, yet more eyes get injured in baseball than in any other sport. Black eyes typically aren’t serious, but if an eye gets scratched, punctured or penetrated, the damage can be lasting. Most eye injuries are highly preventable simply by wearing protective goggles. If a child’s eye is injured, get medical help as soon as possible.
While not as common as in football, basketball or hockey, concussions do happen in baseball, usually due to a rogue bat, flying baseball or inadvertent collision. (See our post here for more on this topic.) Players should always wear protective head gear when at bat or running bases, since these are the times when they’re in most danger of being struck by the ball. If a child gets hit in the head, don’t assume the child is okay; get medical attention as soon as possible to check for concussion, as sometimes serious delayed reactions can occur. Most concussions are simply treated with rest.
If your child suffers complications from a sports injury due to improper medical treatment, our Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help. Call us to learn more.