Vidant holds student athlete health clinic ahead of new school year

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) The first day of school approaches for schools in the east and medical experts say the start of a new semester can be a dangerous time for student athletes.

From dehydration and broken bones to concussions and even heart problems, staff members at Vidant Medical Center are renewing the push to educate players and their parents.

Vidant’s Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program held the Raising an Athlete event Wednesday for parents and rising 6th through 12th graders to learn about preventing sports related injuries and health concerns. The event covered conditions such as concussions and dehydration.

It also taught the warning signs for the number one killer of student athletes—sudden cardiac arrest. Symptoms like fainting, dizziness and chest pain can be caused by cardiac arrest and those with a family history of heart disease should especially keep an eye out according to medical experts.

The program’s coordinator, Dr. LaTangee Dickens says it’s important for parents to be in tune with their child’s health.

“We do know that around this time of year as practices begin, that kids are more prone to injuries, especially coming from summer and getting ready to start their sport,” said Dickens.

“Any injury to your child is something you need to know about no matter how small or large. So if you cover the spectrum between the smallest and the largest, at least you’ll be informed and know what to do if something should happen,” said Bill Persinger who came to the event with his son Slater.

11-year-old Slater Persinger says he hopes to pass the things he learned at the event on to his teammates so that they can all look out for each other on the baseball field.

The Sports Safety Prevention Program works with 5th graders through clinics that aim to keep them healthy when they get into higher levels of competition.

The Sports Safety Prevention Program will begin those clinics at private and charter schools in Pitt County in the fall. Public school students will have that clinic in the spring.