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Return to play? Practical considerations for young athletes with cardiovascular disease


Sports activities are an important part of the daily life of young persons. For a small proportion of those with cardiac conditions, sports participation can result in sudden cardiac arrest. Children and adolescents often participate in both organised and spontaneous play, for which activity guidelines are needed when a condition known to cause sudden cardiac death is identified. This article examines the current guidelines that provide recommendations for sports participation by young persons with cardiovascular disease and reviews the current information on risks of physical activity for those with specific cardiac conditions. The goal of the practitioner is to balance the risks of restriction from physical activity with the benefits of participation. Some practical recommendations are offered for consideration, along with potential alternatives to absolute restriction.

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