In the classic little league baseball film “The Bad News Bears,” a reluctant coach learns just before the season starts he has to come up with team uniforms. He comes through at the last minute with white and yellow jerseys sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds. In the real world, that sponsorship might stir some discussion, but Little League uniform rules are mostly concerned with an unified look and player safety.
According to the official Little League Rulebook, “Every member of the team must wear a conventional uniform which includes shirt, pants, stockings and cap. This may be a regular season uniform.” Typically, umpires will be lenient in terms of every member of the team matching exactly. However, as teams advance into postseason play, umpires reserve the right to disqualify any player wearing a uniform unlike his teammates.
The rulebook states that every team must provide at least six NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved batting helmets. All batters, runners and player-base coaches must wear helmets at all times. Players can bring their own batting helmets, but they must be NOCSAE approved with a warning label in sight. All players must wear an athletic supporter with a cup as well.
Catchers have to play in NOCSAE certified helmets, chest protectors and knee protectors. Chest protectors must cover the entire torso as high as the lower neck and as low as the abdomen. A throat guard, the type that dangles from the helmet, is also required. As of 2013, Little League catchers aren’t allowed to wear the two-piece style helmets worn by players at higher levels. Catcher’s cups must also be made of either metal, carbon fibre or plastic.
Due to safety risks, players can’t wear metal cleats. The Little League suggests rubber cleats, but any non-metal athletic shoes are technically legal. Once players move to a large field size (from 46 to 60 foot mounds and from 60 to 90 foot base paths), most leagues allow them to wear metal spikes.
Antiseptics and disinfectants are the basic tools of cleaning and sanitizing, yet the difference between the two substances is unclear. Knowing the difference between antiseptics and disinfectants and how each works to sterilize wounds or surfaces can help you select the most appropriate product for your needs.
Both antiseptics and disinfectants eliminate disease-causing organisms, notes the Mount Sinai Department of Microbiology. The difference is in how each substance is used. Antiseptics are applied to living skin or tissue to prevent infection, whereas disinfectants are applied to surfaces, equipment or other inanimate objects. Disinfectants are stronger and more toxic than antiseptics because they are applied to surfaces, not living tissue.
Sterilization kills or removes all living organisms, including viruses, bacteria and cells, from an object, explains Mount Sinai. Disinfection kills or removes disease-causing organisms, but not necessarily all organisms present on an object. Heat, radiation, filtration or chemical processes are used to sterilize objects such as medical instruments or surgical or laboratory equipment. If properly sealed, a sterilized object will remain sterile until the seal is broken. Sterilization is uncommon outside of hospital or laboratory settings. In most situations, disinfection is appropriate.
A biocide is a chemical that acts against organisms. Such chemicals are the active ingredients in antiseptics and disinfectants. Biocides are classified as those that kill organisms or those that inhibit growth. Common antiseptics are chlorhexidine, iodine, 70 percent ethanol and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, according to Mount Sinai. Widely used disinfectants include alcohol, glutaraldehyde, iodine, copper sulfate, ozone and chlorine gas. Some agents, such as chlorhexidine and iodine, can be used as either an antiseptic or disinfectant.
Antiseptics and disinfectants work similarly. The agents penetrate the cell wall of the organism, such as bacteria. Inside the cell, the action depends on the specific chemical contained in the antiseptic or disinfectant. In general, antiseptic and disinfectant agents damage the cell membrane, disrupt cell metabolism or alter the permeability of the cell wall.
Not all organisms respond to all disinfectants and antiseptics, and some organisms develop tolerance or resistance. Some types of organisms are naturally resistant to certain types of biocides. For example, bacteria classified as Gram-negative, which include Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, tend to be more resistant to biocidal agents than other types of bacteria. Mutations in viruses or bacteria can create acquired resistance to widely used agents.
Pronation is a condition that occurs when your child’s feet tilt inward. In addition to differences in walking, pronation can cause your child to develop foot abnormalities. Because pronation is best treated when your child is under the age of 5, knowing how to recognize these symptoms can ensure your child gets the treatment he needs as quickly as possible, according to Our Health Network.
Children typically experience signs of pronation after age 4, according to Andorra Pediatrics, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based medical practice. Have your child stand in front of you and observe her heels. If your child’s feet lean inward or appear flat, these can be signs your child is experiencing pronation. Your child also might complain of knee pain, particularly after activity. Her kneecap or kneecaps might turn inward, and you might observe that the soles of her shoes wear out quickly.
Pronation usually is hereditary, according to Our Health Network. The way the feet are positioned in the uterus also can determine how the feet are formed. This is called a congenital defect and causes the muscles and ligaments in the foot to become more loosely held in place, resulting in a slightly inward positioning of the foot.
Because children’s feet are naturally flat and the arches develop with time, pronation can be confused with flat feet, according to Sports Tek, an Australian physical therapy company. However, if your child’s arch begins to develop yet flattens when he stands, this is a sign that your child may be experiencing pronation rather than flat feet.
If pronation is not treated, the bones and muscles surrounding the feet can grow abnormally, according to Our Health Network. Untreated pronation can result in problems such as shin splints, ankle sprains, knee and hip pain, lower back pain, tendinitis, muscle aches, bunions, hammer toes and calluses.
Treatment for pronation in children depends on the child’s age and level of pronation, according to Our Health Network. Examples of treatments include braces to wear at night, custom-made orthotic inserts and exercises to reduce pronation. In many cases, orthotic inserts are the chief method used to train the foot to keep it from pronating.
Whether you play an impact sport such as football or engage in individual competition such as gymnastics, the demands of athletics can increase the likelihood you will experience an injury. Unfortunately, some injuries can have long-term implications that extend for years after your injury has healed. If you experience an injury, always talk to your physician about long-term implications and treatment options.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when a hit to the head causes your brain to slam against your skull. This can be a common injury in athletes who engage in contact sports such as football, hockey or boxing. According to a study published in the January 2009 issue of the medical journal ¡°Brain,¡± athletes who sustained one or more concussions during their athletic careers were more likely to experience a decline in physical and mental performance 30 years later in life compared to those who did not experience a concussion. The study tested the cognitive, neurological and physical performance of 19 former athletes with a history of concussion and 21 athletes with no concussion history. The researchers theorized that a concussion can damage the memory and attention portions of the brain.
Torn cartilage or ligaments on the playing field can increase the likelihood an athlete may experience arthritis later on in life, according to the National Center for Sports Safety. Arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions your bones wears down, causing the bones to rub against each other. The result is pain, swelling and difficulty moving your joints. Stress from injuries such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament can lead to the earlier onset of arthritis. If you do experience an injury of this nature, avoiding strenuous activity until the problem is corrected and healed can reduce arthritis risk.
Child athletes have bones that are still growing and forming. If an injury is sustained to a child¡¯s bony growth plate — the area where new bone cells grow — the child may experience a bone deformity because the bone can no longer grow properly, according to the ¡°European Journal of Pediatrics.” In addition to slowed growth, an improperly healed bone may take on a crooked appearance or have a visible extra notch of bone. Broken fingers not properly set may result in these bone-deformity types.
When it comes to athletes and injury, carefully following a doctor¡¯s orders for recovery can be vital to reducing the risk for future complications. For example, a child who experiences a concussion should rest from physical activity and go on ¡°brain rest¡± to allow the brain sufficient time to heal. This involves taking a break from activities that require concentration, such as studying, reading or watching the news. With less brain activity, your brain has time to heal. While each injury can leave its unique scars, treating injuries to their fullest recovery can minimize harmful long-term outcomes.