Softball Safety Tips
Despite the name, a softball is not soft. A softball is about twelve
inches in circumference - three inches larger than a baseball. Thousands
of children in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for
baseball and softball-related injuries. Softball injuries to the head are
involved more than any other part of the body.
The following safety tips are designed to help children play safe and
prevent injury on the baseball or softball fields.
Softball Equipment Safety:
Children should use always use proper safety gear when playing. This
equipment includes catcher's gear, athletic supporters and cups,
protective eyewear, and proper footware (which may include cleats). Good
quality, double-eared helmets should be worn to protect the ear and
temple region against ball impact. Catchers should also wear a helmet
with full face and throat protection.
Breakaway/quick release bases should be used instead of standard
stationary bases to reduce the impact forces generated from of a sliding
Protective screening should be used to protect players in dugouts and on
benches, and the playing fields and facilities should be well-maintained.
The playing field and facilities should be free of garbage and debris,
and there should be no sinkholes, stumps or rocks in the infield or
outfield. Fences, walls and posts should be padded to help prevent injury
if players run in to them when attempting to catch a ball.
All equipment should be inspected regularly to make sure it is in good
Playing The Game:
Children should be taught how to play softball correctly, and they should
play with other children of the same skill level, physical maturity and
weight. Players should be taught to perform proper streaching and
strenghtening techniques before playing.
Players should wear sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30
or higher. The sunscreen also should be sweat and water-resistant and
reapplied every two to three hours.
The coach should be made away of the player's medical conditions. A child
should not play if he or she is experiencing persistent pain, a loss of
motion, or any other abnormalities.
All players need to be kept hydrated. Water should be made available
before, during and after all games and practices. Water is best, but
sports drinks and juices can be decent alternatives. Avoid caffinated
drinks, as caffine is a diuretic, which acts to dehydrate the body.
In the Case of an Injury:
Adult supervision should always be present, and a person certified in CPR
and first aid needs to be present at all practices and games.
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) is effective for most minor
athletic sprains and strains. All injured softball players should receive
adequate treatment and full rehabilitation before resuming play.