Tips to help ensure your youngster’s baseball season is fun and safe

Spring is upon us and along with that come all the new activities that our children are involved in; namely, baseball.

Children are excited about getting started with their practices and games. They are so excited that as children, they are not aware of the hazards that lurk in the batting cages.

All they want for Mom and Dad to do is to take them to the cages for practice. As parents and caregivers for our children, we are also excited to get into the swing of things and are responsible for their well being.

Baseball is considered to be the highest fatality sport among children. While there are some laws mandating the safety of sports equipment, there are no laws or government regulations directly pertaining to organized sports for children. The team on which your child plays has its own guidelines. It is important that you read them. You must make sure that everything is in accordance with your own child’s specific needs. Children, who often have slower reaction times, less coordination and less accuracy in sports than adults, are at greater risk for injuries. They are also less able to assess the risks involved.

Please consider the following precautions:

The coach has a clear track record of good judgment
First Aid equipment is available
A certified trainer is available
Concussion protocol is established
Hydration protocol is established
Lightning protocol is established for outdoor events
Proper protective gear is up to date and in good use
The coach has completed knowledge of player’s health conditions
The coach has specific knowledge of the child’s medication
Specific ambulance choice and local hospital choice are established
All batting stalls must display a sign indicating how to operate the batting cage system
Proper attire must be worn, i.e. head gear, eye goggles
Batting establishments must show Warning Rules for the machines
A trained attendant must be present at all times
Employee Regulations

There are also risks that the employee takes in maintaining the batting cages.

To wear batting helmets with appropriate mouth guards
Thoroughly train the staff of all operating standards that relate to the safety and operations.
Sound a warning to batters, when going into cages.
Thoroughly train all staff on the operation of all equipment
Train at initial hire and retrain annually
Train all staff for emergency policies
Have a NO TOLERANCE Rule by staff members for violations of rules and regulations
Always make sure the Management of the Batting Cages implements an effective safety program.