Physical Examinations

Prevention is paramount when it comes to the health of a child. The responsibility for identifying a student’s health problems doesn’t fall on one person alone.

If parents suspect their student athlete may have a physical ailment, they should have a family doctor do as complete a medical examination as possible. Likewise, coaches and trainers should alert a parent when an athlete complains of any of these symptoms. It is vitally important that any new or unusual symptoms be thoroughly investigated. Symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain and blackouts during exercise should not be ignored.

What the child’s doctor should know about his/her family history:

Make the child’s physician aware of a family history of:

  • heart disease
  • sudden cardiac death in a relative who died before the age of 50
  • Marfan’s Syndrome

Tests that may detect Congential Heart Disease

Depending on the individual circumstances and symptoms, more testing can be done to detect life-threatening heart disorders such as:

  • Resting EKG
  • Stress EKG
  • Echocardiogram

The warning signs of a heart disorder include:

Shortness of Breath
Exercise capacity may be limited by breathlessness and fatigue.

Chest Pain with Exertion
Pain is usually brought on by exertion and relieved by rest. But pain can also occur at rest or during sleep.

Heart Palpitations
An uncomfortable awareness of the heart beat. Palpitation may start suddenly, appear to be very fast and may be associated with sweating or light-headedness.

Light-Headedness and Blackouts
Persons with the condition may experience lightheadedness, dizziness and more seriously, blackouts. Episodes may occur in association with exercise.