Use Your Brain this Baseball Season

In May baseball fans watched helplessly as Toronto pitcher J.A. Happ was hit in the skull by a line drive hit. Small objects, traveling at high speed can have devastating effect. As is typical in Major League Baseball, the pitch that was hit back at Happ had been clocked at over 90 mph. The pitch was then hit by the batter and returned to hit the pitcher at a speed of 55 mph. Helmets are not required for pitchers – only for batters. Statistically batters are far more at risk for head injury than pitchers, but a baseball to the head can cause severe and lasting head injuries, no matter who is on the receiving end.

Children who play recreational baseball do not throw or pitch at 90 mph, but head injuries do occur on all levels of play. Helmets are required for all batters, from pee wee to the major leagues. When purchasing a helmet for a child, follow these guidelines published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Size and fit – when purchasing or borrowing a league helmet, make sure the fit is snug. Nothing should be worn under the helmet as this interferes with the fit. The helmet should not move at all on the player’s head.
  • Use the right one for the job – catcher’s helmets are different from batter’s helmets. Know which one your child needs and use the correct one.

  • Don’t guess – have the child present when selecting the helmet. The fit must be precise in order to properly protect the head from injury.

If a child does sustain a head injury during a baseball game, call emergency medical personnel immediately. A child who has been hit in the head should not be encouraged to resume play, even if he seems well. The symptoms of a concussion might not manifest immediately. Head injuries can become medically complicated as the brain swells later.

If your child is head injured during a baseball game while he was wearing a helmet, the manufacturer of the helmet might be at fault. Speak with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your right to compensation. Call the Palm Harbor Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A. at 727-538-8865 or contact us online.

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