Hooray! It’s opening day for the Mariners who face off with the Los Angeles Angels. This will be the 10thtime Seattle will play LA on opening day. For many of us, baseball is nothing but a chairside event but for families with young kids it will be anything but, particularly if you’re out there on a regular basis pitching to your son or daughter and running all over the field going after those stray balls. When starting any new activity it’s important to be aware of the risks and also what actions you can take to prevent injury.

Possible Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Fielding balls, sliding into bases, or stopping suddenly can set up a baseball player for ankle sprains and fractures. This is particularly likely if your child is prone to recurrent ankle sprains or has ankle instability. If an incident occurs on the field, it’s important to immediately apply the RICE protocol until you can bring your child to a podiatrist. Keep in mind you may also be at risk for ankle sprains and fractures if you’re fielding your kid’s plays during practice.
  • Too much practice can result in a foot condition common in young athletes called calcaneal apophysitis or Sever’s Disease. As an adult, you are more at risk for plantar fasciitis.
  • Other common injuries are contusions and bruises. These can occur when your kid takes a line drive into their body or is playing second base and a player on the opposing team slides right into them. Of course, if your kid is really working his/her pitching arm you may need to be quick on your feet or you may end up with your own black and blue marks.

Tips for Prevention of Injuries

  • You learned to slide at a young age, but according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, wait to teach your child to slide until after age 10.
  • When teaching your kid to slide, be sure to teach them proper sliding technique.
  • Ensure your child is playing in a safe environment by doing a thorough inspection of the field including objects, uneven terrain, and anything else that could cause injury.
  • Talk to the coach about the type of bags that will be used at first base. A double bag is best--one for the runner and one for the first baseman--to prevent foot and ankle injuries.

For more information about how to prepare for the baseball season or if you or your child has suffered from a baseball injury call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, call us at 206-368-7000.

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