DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It’s a problem you might not have considered as a parent, getting your child’s heart screened.
According to Dr. Michael Ramsey a Pediatrician at Dothan Pediatric Clinic, the main reason why medical experts are suggesting cardiac screening in children, is to help prevent a potentially life-threatening condition from happening.
“For a lot of people the first symptom of any kind of heart problem can be sudden death,” Ramsey said. “We want to make sure that we try to screen as many people as possible to try and reduce that incident of this tragedy.”
Ramsey said there are about 2,000 people in the United States, under the age of 25, who die from cardiac deaths every year.
Children who compete in sports aren’t the only ones who need to be screened, Ramsey encourages every parent to add cardiac screening to their child’s regular exam, to promote healthy living even through adulthood.
“We want to help encourage them to have those healthy habits so they can be healthy throughout their life,” Ramsey said. “So screening for conditions that can put them at risk but also advising them to do healthy things.”
According to Ramsey, these screenings are fairly easy and painless. He said patients will be asked simple questions like if they’ve ever fainted, passed out, or had unexplained seizures — especially while working out. By asking these types of questions, Ramsey said it will help reduce the numbers of these types of deaths.
“The screening is not the only thing we would want to do,” Ramsey said. “We also want to increase awareness of this in the community and have people learn CPR and have AUD’s available wherever people might be present.”
Ramsey tells WDHN early screenings don’t guarantee to detect every possible heart issue, that’s why he is recommending parents start including these screenings in their child’s regular health check up.