Objectives: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes is tragic and does not sometimes show symptoms until death. This event may occur during competition and training and while resting. SCD is defined as death that occurs within 1 h and 24 h after symptom onset in witnessed and unwitnessed cases, respectively. SCD mortality rates are generally unpredictable. The question as to which parameters should be tested before a sports activity is still debatable. This study was conducted to identify the risk groups and draw attention to this delicate subject. Methods: Children younger than 18 years who presented to our hospital between April 2016 and January 2018, who were referred to the Pediatric Cardiology Outpatient Clinic by pediatricians and family physicians to obtain a medical certificate before performing sports activities, and whose case report forms were completely filled out in accordance with the 12-element American Heart Association (AHA) screening guide were enrolled in this retrospective study. Data were evaluated using SPSS 16.0 software. Results: The study included 974 children. Of them, 661 (67.9%) were male and 313 (32.1%) were female. Their mean age was 11.38±3 years, whereas the mean age of female and male participants was 11.6±3 and 11.29±2.99 years, respectively. Among the participants, 83.3% had normal sinus rhythm, 15.8% had sinus arrhythmia, 0.2% had ventricular extra beats, and 0.2% had long QT. Four patients had aortic root dilatation. Six patients were deemed unfit for sports. Conclusion: Consequently, although sports preparticipation evaluation is important in many aspects, how to conduct such an evaluation is still controversial. Previous evaluation of an athlete who experienced SCD can be normal, whereas an athlete without any health problems may be deemed unfit for sports. Data that will be obtained from future multicenter studies and postmortem data can provide guidance in creating guidelines. Keywords: Children, sports, sudden cardiac death
Corresponding Author: Dag H.