As we get closer to the spring sports season, doctors are reminding Hoosiers about the importance of getting a sports physical.

This comes as a recent study from the Department of Family Medicine finds cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in high school athletes are on the rise.

That’s why doctors say it’s so important to make sure your child gets a routine physical.

But what are some signs and symptoms to look out for?

Dr. Philip Lee, a cardiologist with Ascension St. Vincent, says these are the top warning signs your child may be experiencing heart issues.

  • If your child is feeling faint or dizzy while working out
  • If their breathing is abnormal – maybe too fast or they’re breathing too hard
  • Chest pain

Dr. Lee says talk to your kids and take what they say seriously.

“Children especially, will tend to downplay their symptoms and say, ‘Oh, I’m fine, I’m just tired, or I push too hard’,” said Dr. Philip Lee, cardiologist at Ascension Medical Group.

“The vast majority of young people playing sports are fine, said they don’t have a medical condition,” said Dr. Lee. “But there is this percentage of these young people that have an underlying condition.”

There are several possible causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in teens.

The three most common causes are Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Long QT Syndrome and an electrical disturbance caused by a blow to the chest. 

Teenagers with a higher risk of experiencing SCA are those born with congenital heart defects or have a family history of heart issues.

So again, the message here is to make sure your child gets that routine sports physical to make sure they’re healthy and ready to compete when the spring season rolls around! 

“They’re young, and they have a whole life ahead of them,” Dr. Lee said.