Summer sports safety tips - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Summer sports safety tips

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The City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreational Department workers lined the baseball and softball fields Friday, prepping for summer games. The City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreational Department workers lined the baseball and softball fields Friday, prepping for summer games.
The group recommends players wait until they're 14 or older to throw curve balls and 16 or older to throw sliders to help prevent shoulder and elbow injuries. The group recommends players wait until they're 14 or older to throw curve balls and 16 or older to throw sliders to help prevent shoulder and elbow injuries.
For youngsters like Neil Weatherby, the American Academy of Pediatrics puts out guidelines to keep them healthy. For youngsters like Neil Weatherby, the American Academy of Pediatrics puts out guidelines to keep them healthy.
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

"It's something that's built into our rules," said Tony Weatherby, the City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreational Department Youth Baseball League Director.

The City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreational Department workers lined the baseball and softball fields Friday, prepping for summer games.

Weatherby said it's just as important to prep parents and coaches on the players' safety.

In fact, it hits home for him, because his 10-year-old son Neil plays.

"I like pitching a lot and I like to hit the ball," said Neil Weatherby.

For youngsters like Neil Weatherby, the American Academy of Pediatrics puts out guidelines to keep them healthy.

The group recommends players wait until they're 14 or older to throw curve balls and 16 or older to throw sliders to help prevent shoulder and elbow injuries.

"That's something they get to do later on in their career, we just believe they're too young, it does put a lot of pressure on their elbow, young children are still growing so until they get to a much mature age, you really shouldn't do anything that breaks the wrist," said Weatherby.

Weatherby said for 9 to 12 year olds, the Cape league only allows pitchers to throw 3 innings per game and 6 innings a week.

"They're still growing, their arm, obviously their arm's not fully developed yet, and the more innings that you put on an arm, whether it's just every day play, or practice, games, it's a lot of wear and tear," said Weatherby.

"I wish I could pitch," said Neil Weatherby.

"You know you don't want kids by the time they get to high school their arm is really no longer, it's no good to them anymore in the sport of baseball," said Tony Weatherby.

"When I'm batting I have to put on a helmet, when I go out in the field I have to wear my hat and I have to bring a glove," said Neil Weatherby.

Weatherby said the Cape leagues require batters to wear helmets. They also use different types of balls to help prevent player injury.

Five and 6-year-olds use a Safe-T-ball, which has a hollow core to take the sting out of getting hit. Seven-year-olds use an Incrediball, which weighs similar to a real baseball, but has a soft texture. Eight-year-olds and up use a traditional baseball.

Weatherby said they want the kids to play safe, so the game can be fun for everyone.

"Try your best and go out there and play hard," said Neil Weatherby.

The Pediatrics group also said baseball players have the highest sports-related eye injuries in children. The group suggests wearing eye protection and batting helmets.

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