AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- 24 year-old Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest on the field after being hit during Monday night’s football game.

Now many parents may be afraid to allow their children to play some sports.

If the cardiac arrest was caused by the hit, that’s a rare thing to happen in football. NewsChannal 6’s Kim Vickers spoke to a cardiologist and a sports medicine physician and they both said it’s an injury that is usually seen in baseball and softball or hockey players.

Hamlin’s injury could have been caused by the hit, or by a pre-existing condition.

“That hit didn’t look to be ferocious, but you’d say it’s that one in a million opportunities. I would be interested in whether he had been looked at ecocardiographically, because as I said, the most common reason young athletes go down is not commotio cordis. It’s usually they have a congenital abnormality that’s been undiagnosed,” said Dr. Mac Bowman, a cardiologist at Piedmont Augusta.

Commotio cordis is when the heart rhythm is disrupted by a sudden blow to the chest, like the hit the may have cause cardiac arrest in Damar Hamlin.

It has to happen at just the right part of the heartbeat, making it fairly rare.

Dr. Bowman speculated that it may have been a more common disease that caused his collapse.

“The most common is actually hypertrophic cardiomyopathy- a big thick heart muscle,” he said.

Dr. Bowman believes that the presence of a defibrillator and the medical teams response saved Hamlin’s life.

“The quickness with which they got to him and restored normal rhythm, that is the best prognostic factor that is identifiable.”

Dr. Robert Gambrell is a sports medicine physician. He said it’s hard to tell what may have caused Hamlin’s heart to stop.

“You can’t really tell if that blow was enough. Because we see it more often in younger kids. Smaller people– a lot of times in baseball where they’re hit in the chest– a smaller kid is hit in the chest with a baseball or softball. And once again it has to be done in just the right way,” explained Dr. Gambrell.

Many parents may be wondering after Monday night’s events, if the risk of their child playing a sport is worth it.

Both doctors agree that there is a big risk, but there are precautions people can take to ensure the health and safety of their young athletes.

“In sports there’s rules and safety equipment. Whatever the sport, you need to wear the approved and recommended safety equipment, be it a helmet or padding,” said Dr. Gambrell.

“One of the things is, you want to have your child be appropriately physically conditioned and have base line exams done,” explained Dr. Bowman, who works to provide free screenings for local athletes.

Dr. Gambrell said that sports do pose a risk, but the benefits far outweigh the risks when it comes to fitness in children. He advises parents not be afraid to talk to their child’s coach about safety and to say something if proper safety guidelines are not being followed.

Photojournalist: Will Baker.