NEWSWEEK — ULTRA-THIN CHEST PROTECTOR FOR KID ATHLETES AIMS FOR A HOME RUN

In 2010, Thomas Adams, a 16-year-old boy from New Jersey, died on the baseball field. A catcher on an all-star traveling team, he was warming up a pitcher and got hit in the chest with a ball. He stood up and said, “I can’t breathe” and then collapsed, dying nearly instantly. Strange as it sounds, every year approximately 15 athletes of high school age or younger die from commotio cordis—when a blow to the area over the heart's left ventricle in the 0.0005 of a second between heartbeats stops the heart.

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