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Reducing Weight of Baseball May Increase Risk Of Injury To Youth Baseball Pitchers

Using a lighter baseball would not significantly increase batted-ball impact injuries to position players in youth baseball, but would likely increase such injuries to pitchers, suggests a first-of-its-kind study.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Dan and Susan Farren (Rohnert Park, CA.); Ray Antonopoulos & Jeff Meisner (West Newbury, MA)

In a Cal Ripkin Baseball game on April 13, eight-year-old Matthew Henry was hit in the chest by a pitch and left the batter's box on his way to first base. He collapsed after a few steps, reportedly the victim of commotio cordis ("agitation of the heart," in Latin).

The value of having trained medical personnel and an automated external defibrillator nearby was never more apparent then in this month's Youth Sports Heroes blog honoring two pairs of Good Samaritans who, in an 11-day span, saved the lives of an 8-year-old baseball player and a mom watching her son play baseball.

Commotio Cordis: Can A Chest Protector Help?

Commotio cordis is the medical term for a rare disruption of the heart's electrical system resulting from a blunt impact to the chest that leads to sudden cardiac arrest. While commercially available chest protectors have not been shown in any peer-reviewed studies to prevent commotio cordis, whether such a heart shield provides an extra measure of protection for athletes playing baseball, lacrosse, and hockey, the sports with the highest rates of sudden death from the condition, is unknown.

Baseball and Softball: Most Popular and Among The Safest Youth Sports

Baseball and softball are among the most popular and safest sports in which children and adolescents participate in the United States, says an updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Preventing Commotio Cordis in Youth Baseball

Young baseball and softball players who receive direct ball impact to the chest wall directly over the heart may develop sudden cardiac arrest, a condition called commotio cordis.  Teaching batters to turn away from an inside pitch, and pitchers to react as quickly as possible to a batted ball hit back at them can help reduce the risk, and an AED and a someone trained in CPR should be on site at all times to increase the chances of survival.

Commotio Cordis: Tragedy on an Arizona Diamond

In early June 2010 tragedy struck a baseball field in Arizona when a 13-year-old Little Leaguer trying to bunt was struck in the chest. He took a few steps towards first base, collapsed, and died the next morning. Getting hit by a pitch is to be expected when playing baseball. Dying is not. What killed the Arizona boy? A rare condition called commotio cordis.

Commotio Cordis Leads to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Commotio Cordis is a rare disruption of the heart's electrical system resulting from a blunt impact to the chest that leads to sudden cardiac arrest. It has been documented in over 250 cases since 1998, and occurs most often in lacrosse, with the most recent incident involving a 12-year-old boy who tragically died in Rochester, New York after being hit in the chest with a ball.

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