More than anything else, we want our children protected from harm. Particularly when we hear about sudden cardiac collapse and death in young athletes. The far majority of children who suffer from sudden cardiac events and sudden cardiac death have no symptoms prior so comprehensive cardiac screening can improve protection for all children.
5 Things To Do Before The Sports Physical:
- Print out the pre-participation sports physical form and medical history form. Bring it to the appointment for your child’s doctor or ARNP to fill out. This form can help direct a more comprehensive sports physical and will require documentation of necessary medical history and physical exam findings as recommended by the American Heart Association.
- Find out about your own family’s medical history. Inquire is there is any heart disease, any history of seizures, or unexplained or sudden death. Complete that medical history form.
- Check in with your child/teen to find out if they ever have any symptoms during exercise that may require more attention–things like fainting or near-fainting, chest pain with exercise, easy fatigue with exercise.
- Find out if your school has an AED. If they don’t, work on having the sports director get one for play fields and gymnasiums.
- Refresh your CPR skills. Review how to do hands-only CPR (this links to a 1 minute video)
Your child’s physician or nurse practitioner can screen them however there are also free screening events for sudden cardiac death in our area include (please include others you know of in the comments and I will add to the list):
Nick Of Time Foundation (Auburn, WA on 9/29 & Renton, WA 10/3 and ongoing)
Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings (ongoing)