LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

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

Resources

More about Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson:Facebook | Twitter:@ | Read Her Blog

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.king5.com/story/entertainment/television/programs/dr-wendy-sue-swanson/2014/08/04/13288148/