This is the fourth time I've shared this post, and for those who have already read it, I'm sorry to be so repetitive. If you're new to my blog, please pass this along to any teens in your life. School and fall sports are in full swing around the country, and knowing this important information could save a life.
Those words shouldn't be in the same sentence.
Unfortunately, sudden heart failure is the leading cause of death in teen athletes. It's estimated that a young athlete suffers cardiac arrest every three days in the U.S.
Sudden cardiac arrest usually occurs during or right after exercise and there are no warning symptoms. The heart stops pumping adequately and the child loses consciousness. Unless a normal heart rhythm can be restored quickly, death will follow.
Scary stuff. Tragically, these deaths are preventable in most cases. A simple heart health screening, which involves a medical history and an ECG, will detect most cardiac abnormalities. If there is an issue, it can be addressed before it turns deadly.
Both of my boys are athletes, but I had no idea about this until a young man in our community died suddenly after a football game. His mother formed The Nick of Time Foundation, a wonderful organization that provides heart health screenings at local schools and helps to educate the community about this problem.
C and T have both been screened, and it only took thirty minutes from start to finish. Your child's doctor can perform the ECG or give you a referral to a cardiac specialist.
Mandatory heart health screenings should be included in every sports physical before a student can participate. It makes sense to be sure their hearts are capable of strenuous activity.
So many of the things that can hurt our teens are out of our control. But this isn't one of them. And no parent should have to suffer the loss that Nick's mother did after that football game.
I'll be linking up with Deena on Monday for The Nostalgic Series. Be sure to head over and read all the great posts!