At St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® (Roslyn, NY), the Cardiac Screening for Student Athletes program offers free screenings to students in grades 9-12 to help identify predisposed heart conditions.
Thousands of Long Island high school students participate in sports annually. Try-outs, practices, and in-season games can be strenuous for a student athlete.
Sean Levchuck, MD, program co-director and St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® Chair of Pediatric Cardiology, shares the importance of scheduling a cardiac screening.
Why should I schedule a cardiac screening for my child?
Routine medical exams are beneficial to make sure a student is in good health before playing a sport. But not all exams include a cardiac screening, which can show heart abnormalities that may put a strain on an athlete’s heart and could lead to life-threatening situations like sudden cardiac arrest.
Does it matter what sport my child plays or their level of play?
Cardiac student screenings are for all students for all sports. Life-threatening cardiac situations can happen during any sport and any season.
It’s especially important to schedule a cardiac screening if your child plays on a travel team—the set of clearances differ from school district sports. Travel sports also take it to the next level. More is demanded—the training is harder and longer. So it’s imperative that these student athletes get a cardiac screening.
If the goal is for travel sports to be a stepping stone to the collegiate level—where intensity of play accelerates—then you owe it to yourself, and your child, to make sure that the heart is normal.
Remember, a player may look amazing and perform exceptionally on the field, but that doesn’t mean underlying, undetected conditions don’t exist.
What should we expect at the cardiac screening?
The screening takes approximately 45 minutes. Your child is given an electrocardiogram (EKG) and echocardiogram with immediate results interpreted by renowned cardiologists at St. Francis Heart Center, home to Long Island’s most awarded heart program.
What are the next steps after a screening?
Our team will provide a plan of action if a cardiac issue is detected. The cardiac student screening program at St. Francis Heart Center stands out for giving you access to the highest level of care—from cardiac imaging to minimally invasive surgery to specialized care like arrhythmia. Our team works closely together to provide ongoing care.
We also focus on preventive care, even with a clean bill of health, because it’s not only about the here and the now but the future as well. After a screening where no issues are detected, we’ll talk to your child about healthy living, exercise, and avoiding bad habits like vaping or consuming energy drinks. The emphasis is on taking care of their bodies for today and tomorrow.
When should I schedule a screening?
Today! Screenings are recommended when your child is getting ready to start high school. If you haven’t already then schedule a screening today. We see all students grades 9-12. It's free and we make it convenient for you. In under an hour you’ll have peace of mind knowing if your child is fit to play.
Call 516-629-2013 to schedule an appointment. Get more information on the program.
Screenings take place at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®. Get directions.
St. Francis Heart Center
Highest level of cardiovascular care at locations across Long Island.