It's time for sports physicals, and some parents might be wondering what these exams entail and why they're important. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, also known as Seattle Mama Doc, joined KING 5 to talk about sports physicals and how families can improve screening for their young athletes.
Other questions Dr. Swanson addressed include:
- How common is sudden cardiac death in young athletes? Who is at the highest risk?
- How do you screen children for sudden cardiac death? At what age should families start having their children screened?
- What is happening in Washington state to protect children?
- How can parents better advocate for their own children to protect them and understand risks?
Facts about sudden cardiac death
- Rare but tends to run in families
- Most common between the ages of 17 and 23
- 90 percent of cases occur during or after exercise
- Often cardiomyopathies or arrhythmias can be the cause
Screening children for sudden cardiac death
- American Heart Assoication 12-question approach
- 4 exercise, 4 family history, 4 physical exam
- Describe how your child feels during exercise
- Full physical exam including blood pressure
- Sometimes an EKG or echocardiogram
What parents need to know
- Learn about your family history -- early heart disease or drowning?
- Make sure an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is in your school
- Learn hands-only CPR
- Print out pre-participation sports form
- "Sudden cardiac death is a needle in a haystack, but a very sharp one" Seattle Mama Doc blog from March 2012
- American Heart Association research article about screening for SCD
- Sports physical form to bring to your child's doctor
- Nick Of Time Foundation information for families