Sunday cartoon: Kids baseball injury prevention

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BURRILLVILLE – Warmer temperatures and sunny days allow children to become more active when it comes to outdoor activities and playing sports this time of year. School will be ending soon and summer vacation season will be underway across the state and region.

I see plenty of kids playing baseball in open fields and empty parking lots while I’m out on the road during the hours after school and on the weekends, now that summer is approaching. Playing baseball is a lot of fun, but there are a couple of very important injury-prevention tips kids should be aware of before playing the game of baseball in their neighborhoods. Before playing baseball, kids should always take to the time to stretch their muscles and limber up first. Avoiding stretching can lead to injuries that directly impact the body’s muscles, bones and joints. If kids want to avoid muscle pulls and strains, stretching helps reduce these types of preventable injuries. Muscle pulls can be extremely painful. Strains on bones, joints and ligaments can be even more painful and temporarily debilitating on the body and may require medical treatment at the hospital with wraps, casts, crutches and even wheelchairs to help injuries heal over a lengthy amount of time, depending on the severity of the injury.

Always take the time to stretch – just like the professional baseball athletes – before playing baseball this summer season. Stretch, then play it safe. Play ball!

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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