LAS VEGAS — Results of a survey presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting indicated caregivers were frequently unaware of safety guidelines recommended for young baseball pitchers.
“A majority of those reported compliance with pitch count as well as time off [requirements]; however, many of the other aspects of safe pitching guidelines were not followed,” Andrew Waligora, MD, said during his presentation.
Waligora and colleagues conducted a 22-question survey regarding safe pitching guidelines based on recommendations from the USA Baseball and Medical Safety Advisory, Little League Baseball and the American Sports Medicine Institute among 61 parents of youth baseball players between the ages of 9 and 18 years. A database was constructed based on the responses to the survey, and variables were assessed utilizing a chi-square analysis.
Overall, 53% of respondents were unaware of any guidelines for the safety of young baseball pitchers, though guideline awareness was elevated if the respondent cared for a pitcher older than 13 years of age, according to the researchers. Caregivers who did not actively assist in monitoring a pitch count or were unaware of how many pitches their child threw in an average game respectively made up 54% and 20% of respondents, respectively.
Respondents were 49% likely to have a child pitch in more than one concurrent league, 25% likely to have a child pitch for more than 9 months of the year, and 54% likely to have a child pitch in at least one showcase annually.
Arm pain stemming from pitching was reported in 64% of survey responses, and a minimum of one pitching appearance missed due to arm discomfort was found in 38% of surveys, an event more likely in pitchers 13 years of age or older. Clinician assistance was sought due to arm pain stemming from pitching in 34% of surveys, according to the researchers. – by Christian Ingram
Waligora A, et al. Paper #361. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. March 24-28, 2015; Las Vegas.
Disclosure: Waligora reports no relevant financial disclosures.