MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Youth baseball and softball seasons are in full swing from the Grand Strand to the Pee Dee.
It's the perfect time for families to get outdoors and get exercise, but there's a point where kids might be overdoing it.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said baseball-related injuries sent 282,000 kids to the doctor in 2010. Dr. Gene Massey with Strand Orthopedics said many of those injuries are easily avoidable.
"There's two basic types," Dr. Massey said. "One type is kind of an overuse injury where they have repetitive stress on their arm and shoulder and elbow. The other is traumatic injuries."
Those include things like players running into each other and getting hit by baseballs or bats. While proper equipment can help avoid those traumatic injuries, the overuse injuries require much more attention.
"The undeveloped shoulder and elbow particularly is at high risk for repetitive use," Massey said.
He said more and more kids are playing baseball year-round and pitching on several different teams. Even if one league has a pitch limit, it might not apply to an individual child's other league.
Massey's best advice is to practice safe techniques.
"The rest is equally as important as the practice," he said. "You at least need to have one day of rest to let your ligaments and muscles recover and your joints recover so you can go back out there and practice the next day."
Massey also hopes parents listen to their children.
"A 14-year-old pitcher might not offer up that his arm is sore," he said. "If you ask him how his shoulder or his elbow is feeling, a lot of times they will tell you."