Experts weigh in on youth baseball injuries

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 4, 2015) - Sports injuries for kids have skyrocketed in recent years, say experts.

Concussions have made headlines, but now experts say other injuries are on the rise as well.

This is the topic of a discussion at IUPUI Wednesday evening, specifically about baseball, and parents and coaches are invited.

One expert who will speak at the event says chronic sports injuries have increased five to seven times since 2000, and a lot of these can be avoided.

The CDC says more than 2.6 million kids under age 19 are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports-related injuries.

The organization says the most common injuries are to the ankle at 15 percent and the head at 14 percent of all injuries.

Other common areas are the finger, knee and face.

Wednesday’s panel is specifically about baseball, like arm injuries among young pitchers, and the issue of kids specializing in one sport.

One of the panel speakers is former Major League pitcher Bill Sampen, who owns Samp's Hack Shack training facility in Brownsburg,

He said it’s a healthy for kids to participate in multiple sports so they don’t overuse certain muscles.

“I think the bottom line is, they’re kids, and they need to be kids,” Sampen said. “They’re not getting paid, they’re not going to get paid for a long time, if ever. So to treat them as though it is a job, in the long run, is hurting in more ways than one, but certainly physically.”

Experts say parents should make sure kids use protective gear like helmets for games and practice, and be sure that equipment is in good condition and worn correctly.

Wednesday’s roundtable discussion, “Epidemic at the Mound: The Stats and Facts of Youth Baseball Injuries,” is at IUPUI from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Hine Hall Auditorium, 850 W. Michigan St.

The event is free and open to the public.

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