Sunday cartoon: Kids backyard baseball safety

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BURRILLVILLE – The official start of the summer season is nearly here and the sport of baseball is now in full swing in the state, region and nationwide.

This week’s Sunday feature reminds kids about backyard baseball safety. The coloring cartoon features a group of kids playing baseball in a backyard.

Kids should never play baseball in the streets. It’s not like it was in the 1970s, or even the early 1980s, when streets were safer. Neighborhoods were quieter and there was far less traffic than there is today. Now, people have a tendency to drive too fast on neighborhood streets, and if kids were actually playing baseball and a speeding vehicle came through, the kids could be in harm’s way.

It’s safer for kids to play sports such as baseball and football in backyard areas, parks and playgrounds. If kids do plan on playing baseball in their backyard, then there are a few safety tips they should learn before putting on their gloves. Kids should always stretch their muscles first in order to prevent muscle pulls and strains. They should also hydrate by drinking water prior to playing baseball to avoid heat stroke or exhaustion, and continue drinking water while playing. Limiting time playing baseball also helps to avoid injuries. Staying in the sun for long periods of time can be harmful to little kids playing sports. If a child gets tired or feels muscle strains, do not push it, and rest between games. Try spending some time in the shade and avoid long-term sun exposure while playing baseball, sports, riding bikes, skateboarding or participating in outdoor activities during the upcoming summer months.

Don’t forget to cheer on the Boston Red Sox and the Worcester WOOSOX baseball teams this season. You can tune in on area radio stations and listen to both New England baseball teams live at their stadium and playing elsewhere against their rival baseball teams.

Have fun, play safely and hit a home run for the home team this summer. Go Red Sox! Go WOOSOX!

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades

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