Goals—To assess the relative injury reduction effect and acceptability of face guards on batter's helmets.
Methods—A non-randomized prospective cohort study among 238 youth league baseball teams in Central and Southern Indiana during the 1997 season. Coaches, parents, and players were asked to respond to pre-season and post-season questionnaires. Approximately one half of the teams were supplied with face guard helmets (intervention); all others used this protection at their discretion (comparison).
Results—Parents, players, and coaches on the intervention teams reported a reduction in the incidence of oculofacial injuries compared with comparison team respondents (p=0.04). There was no reported adverse effect of face guard use on player performance.
Conclusions—Helmet face guards should be required for batters to prevent facial injuries in baseball.
- oculofacial injury
- dental injury
- ocular trauma
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