Fox 4 investigates safety equipment designed to protect baseball players' chests
Every time a child steps on the baseball field, they risk getting hurt. And every year, several children in the United States die from a ball hitting them in the chest.
Commotio cordis is a term for when a ball hits a player in the chest in the milliseconds between heartbeats.
"It is right at the moment of impact, the heart stops working," Children's Mercy's Dr. James Roberson said. "If it hits at the exact right spot, just pure bad luck, it starts the heart into ventricular fibrillation, which is death."
NOCSAE, the organization that tests athletic equipment, is currently working with manufacturers to create a material kids can wear that will be effective should they be hit in the chest with a hard ball.
"It's physics. And if they can come up with some good chest protectors that really do distribute force away from the front of the heart, that should work."
Many athletic complexes in the metro have defibrillators at the fields thanks to donations from the Henning Foundation of Kansas City.
See the full story via Fox 4.
Learn more about the Center for Sports Medicine at Children's Mercy.