For the first time, chest protector products are available this season for youth lacrosse and baseball players that meet the The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) standard to protect against commotio cordis, one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.
For Karen Acompora, this is a milestone in her family’s efforts to protect youth athletes from this deadly injury and honor the memory of her son, Louis J. Acompora. In 2000, Louis died from commotio cordis after a blow to his chest during his first high school lacrosse game. He was only 14-years-old.
Commotio cordis is a heart rhythm disruption caused by a direct hit to the chest from an object such as a baseball, lacrosse ball or lacrosse stick. It’s estimated that approximately 5-25 youth athletes die every year from this event. Most of these deaths are boys under the age of 18, many of whom were wearing a form of chest protection when they were hit. Youth sports should be not only fun, but as safe as possible.
NOCSAE Executive Director, Mike Oliver, and President of the Louis J Acompora Memorial Foundation, Karen Acompora, talk about the scientific breakthrough that led to the development of this new safety standard. Learn the critical steps parents and coaches can take to protect kids on the baseball and lacrosse field.