Dad Says This Shirt Saved His Little Boy's Life

heart guard
John Curtin/Facebook

Whenever your kids play a sport, even more than hoping they have a good time and improve their skills, you probably want them to be safe. One dad is crediting a shirt with possibly saving his son's life on the ball field. With summer sports seasons gearing up, his Facebook post is being widely shared, as this father believes an affordable shirt meant the difference between safety and possible tragedy. 

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John Curtin explained exactly what happened that caused him to be so grateful for one simple garment. He wrote:

"For all you parents that have children that pitch, do me a favor and run out and buy a heart guard shirt for your child. My 11-year-old Ryan wears one and it literally might have saved his life today. He was pitching and one of the hardest hit line drives came back and hit him straight dead center in the chest and the heart guard absorbed the hit. He was in a lot of pain but a lot better than the alternative."

In case you're not familiar with what a heart guard looks like, Curtin shared a photo of his son's:

heart guard shirt
John Curtin/Facebook

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It's always frightening to see a child get hit by a ball, but to watch it land squarely in the chest would be terrifying. Curtin continued: 

"The other coach is an emt and said if he didn't have that [shirt] on that he might have been giving my son cpr. It was one of the scariest moments I ever had with my kids. We are at urgent care getting chest xrays now. Just some advice. $30 to $50 no brainer."

Plenty of towns now require that cups and heart guards are part of kids' uniforms across the board, and it makes sense when you consider how easily serious accidents can happen during the course of play.

The reason these chest protectors have picked up in popularity is due to the increased awareness of the potential for kids who get hit to suffer commotio cordis, a type of arrhythmia that causes those injured to go into cardiac arrest, which can be severe enough to result in death or deprive the player of oxygen for crucial minutes.

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A New Jersey boy was left with brain damage after being hit full-force in the chest by a line drive hit off a metal bat during a routine Little League game. According to ESPN, Steven Domalewski was hit in the chest at the exact millisecond between heartbeats, which sent him into cardiac arrest. He then dropped to the ground and stopped breathing.

When you consider that these chest protectors can be found for under $50, it makes sense to buy one for your children and have them wear it no matter which position they play.

But, when looking for one, be sure it fits your child correctly. The heart guard should fit snugly, but it also shouldn't be so constrictive that your child can't pitch or throw.

The makers of the popular Evo Shield heart guard offer a video tutorial to show exactly how to fit your player to ensure his or her safety. We're glad this child seems to be okay and his dad took the time to raise awareness about a simple garment that could mean a world of difference. 

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