They are stories that take a parent's breath away, like a child who dies on the playing field.
In most cases, it is sudden death or a rare event.
Now, new research suggests when it does happen, traditional sports protective gear may not be enough to save a life.
When it comes to preventing the cardiac catastrophe, new research by the Minneapolis Heart Institute suggests conventional chest protectors are not stepping up to the plate.
Researchers found 39% of athletes killed by a chest blow during a game were wearing protection.
However, they noted that in most cases, the protector had slipped out of place.
Dr. Michael Lauer of the Cleveland Clinic explains, “If they're uncomfortable, the athlete's won't wear them. Also, if they're too heavy, they're more likely to slip."
Researchers stress that while the protectors were not designed to prevent the rare event, they hope the findings will lead to strategies to make the game even safer.
On a side note, a defibrillator is the key to restarting a heart that is beating out of control. There have been efforts around the country to place portable devices on playing fields.