Your Health- COVID-19 and student athlete hearts

Health Reports

As schools are getting back to full in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year, school sports are making a comeback.

Before teens get back to the swing of things however, will you get your child vaccinated for COVID-19?

A survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation said that nearly one in four parents will definitely not.

Here are the details on why this could spell trouble, especially for student athletes.

There are more than eight million high school student athletes in the U.S.

“One in 300 will carry a form of cardiovascular disease that predisposes them to have a risk of sudden cardiac arrest,” said Gul Dadlani, MD, Nemours Children’s Hospital.

Having COVID could put them at greater risk including those who never had heart problems before.

“COVID can affect the heart and you don’t have to be that symptomatic to have issues within your heart muscles,” said Dr. Dadlani.

A study from the Ohio State University found 15% of athletes who had mild symptoms of COVID or were asymptomatic, showed signs of heart inflammation as they recovered.

Overexerting the heart while it’s inflamed can lead to major complications, sudden cardiac arrest, and even death.

Watch out for chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness after the quarantine period.

“Those are always red flags that warrant a follow-up with their pediatrician and or pediatric cardiologist,” said Dr. Dadlani.

Also make a graduated return to play. Don’t push yourself to practice or play right after COVID recovery.

Check with your doctor to see if the heart inflammation has cleared before returning to play.

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