What to check for before playing sports - CBS46 News

What to check for before playing sports

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Ken Mcmillan played quarterback at the University of Miami. He knows the dangers that come with playing sports. It was a concern of his when his son wanted to follow in his footsteps.

"I was constantly worried about it because any given play could change not only his life, but the family's life," he said.

Now one Gwinnett County family is in mourning after 16-year-old Michael Jones collapsed during a soccer scrimmage with a club team.

CBS46 received a statement from Parkview High School principal David Smith that said in part, "We will pull together and be there for each other during this difficult time, knowing that there will be some sad times ahead for all of us."

CBS46 is still working to find out what caused Jones' death. Emergency Physician Dr. Benjamin Lefkove spoke to us about what can often happen.

"A family history of something called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a congenital condition, something you're born with, where you have thickening of a part of the heart that can lead to the heart going into a bad rhythm."

We've learned an EKG or an ultrasound of the heart can help diagnose the condition.

Dr. Lufkove has more warnings for parents. Be cautious if your child has a history of passing out, lightheadedness or chest pain with exercise. He said parents need to be thorough when filling out pre-participation forms.

"The questions that are being asked on these, for the most part, are asking about very serious or potentially deadly conditions so it's very important that people are truthful and accurate."

Now as a coach, Mcmillan said he's extra cautious with the athletes he looks after.

"The history of the family, you have the take that into consideration. If they have high blood pressure, if they have heart problems, then the parent must get, and I say must get, additional checking on the cardio."

CBS46 checked with Gwinnett County Schools and found that all coaches are trained in CPR and each school has automated external defibrillators in case of an emergency.

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