ILWACO — On March 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Ilwaco High School, Play Smart–Youth Heart Screenings will be offered. This is a rare opportunity to get free healthcare services for youth aged 12-18; the free heart screening includes a height/weight check, blood pressure check and 12-lead EKG.

This is a free healthcare service: Youth typically do not get an EKG in a routine well-child check with their doctor or in a sports physical so this screening is a unique healthcare opportunity to get a free baseline EKG (electrocardiogram).

Providence Heart Institute is offering the Play Smart–Youth Heart Screenings Program, which has been successful in screening more than 31,561 youth and identifying 1,404 students or 5 percent for follow-up and treatment.

Young people with undiagnosed heart defects, especially athletes, are susceptible to sudden cardiac arrest. Often there are no advance signs or symptoms and most routine physical exams will not pick up the defects. An electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) usually is necessary to uncover signs of heart irregularities, something normally not done in “well-child” checks or even some sports physicals. In an effort to protect the hearts of area middle and high school students, Play Smart offers free painless, noninvasive heart-health checks to youth aged 12-18.

Play Smart is partnering with Ocean Beach School District to offer all students 12-18 years old free heart screening. Screening forms are available at the school or on the Play Smart website and must be completed and returned before the event. If you have questions, see or call OBSD at 360-642-3739.

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