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By SUSAN ASCHOFF and Times wires
Published October 7, 2003

YOUNG BASEBALL players need to be aware that overhand throwing, particularly at the frequency performed by pitchers, can injure an arm for life, according to Fitness Matters, the magazine of the American Council on Exercise.

Even when perfect technique is used, young players' immature musculoskeletal development can permit arm injury. Slider and curveball pitches are particularly damaging, research by the American Sports Medicine Institute found. The institute recommends these breaking pitches be avoided until puberty; in other words, don't throw a curveball until you're shaving. Children ages 8 to 10 should pitch only fastballs and changeups.

Pitchers ages 8 to 12 also should not throw more than an average of 50 to 65 pitches a game, experts recommend. More pitches can be added as a child grows older, to about 100 to 120 at age 18. Two days off should follow a game to rest the arm.

While conditioning the arm and following proper mechanics can prevent injury, parents must pay attention and speak up when they observe abuse. ACE advises them to count the number of pitches their child throws in a game and to routinely ask if he or she is experiencing any discomfort.

FOOD ALLERGIES affect men and women about equally and often peak when an individual is in his or her early 20s, according to research released at the World Allergy Organization's recent meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The research, done in Norway, where a national reporting system was put in place three years ago, found that most allergic reactions occur outside the home and involve nuts, peanuts and shellfish.

Another study, in Austria, looked at a link between taking antacids and developing a food allergy. Mice treated with antacids developed antibodies to chemicals found in fish and milk. Since about 10 percent of the human population takes antacids, the findings could prove significant, researchers believe.

The World Allergy Organization is an international umbrella for more than 50 groups and provides outreach and education in 92 countries.

YOUNG WOMEN make up the majority of new lupus patients, and the Alliance for Lupus Research wants them to know more about this mysterious disease.

October is National Lupus Awareness Month.

An autoimmune disease, lupus triggers the body to attack healthy organs and tissues and can cause serious medical problems, including pregnancy complications. Common symptoms include achy or swollen joints, prolonged fatigue, frequent fevers, rashes, sun sensitivity and mouth ulcers.

For more information, contact the Alliance for Lupus Research toll-free at 1-800-867-1743 or go to

[Last modified October 6, 2003, 08:30:17]

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