Baseball-Related Injury

Approximately 10 million children and adolescents play baseball as part of a team or in backyards each year in the United States. While baseball is a great way for people of all ages to get out and get some exercise, injuries can and do occur. Taking a few precautions will help reduce the chance of injury and help everyone enjoy our national pastime.

Baseball-Related Injury

  • More than 110,000 U.S. children younger than 18 years of age are treated each year in emergency departments for baseball-related injuries.
  • The most common mechanisms of injury are being hit by the baseball and being hit by the bat.
  • The face and the upper extremities (shoulders, arms, hands) are the most commonly injured areas of the body.

Who is Injured?

  • Boys are injured more often playing baseball than girls.
  • While injuries occur year-round, the majority of injuries occur between April and June, which coincides with youth baseball season.
  • Adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years are more likely to have been injured while sliding than younger children.
  • Injuries that are the result of sliding are more likely to be fractures and need hospital admission than injuries caused by other mechanisms.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age with a baseball-related injury are more likely to be injured at home and to sustain injuries to the face than older children.

Prevention Tips

  • Reduced-impact safety baseballs should be used for all youth league practices and games.
  • Safety baseballs, which are softer than regular baseballs, should also be used by children at home.
  • Breakaway safety bases should be installed on all baseball fields used by youth leagues - including public parks and schools.
  • Batters should wear helmets equipped with face shields both during youth league play and at home.
  • Children should wear properly fitted mouth guards when playing baseball, especially pitchers and infielders, to reduce the number and severity of dental injuries.

Baseball Research in the News

Additional Baseball Information