Arielle Newman was the captain of the track team at Notre Dame Academy in Staten Island, N.Y.
"She was a good kid, an overall good kid, following the rules, just trying to do the best she could in school, in track," said Alice Newman, Arielle's mother.
The award-winning cross country runner, who was popular with friends and teachers alike, was found dead by her mother on April 3.
"I went upstairs to her room and found her on the floor," Newman said. "I tried to do mouth-to-mouth. I tried to do chest compressions, but I could tell that she'd been gone for a while."
Arielle's death came as a shock to family and friends. But, nothing could prepare them for the apparent cause of this tragedy -- an overdose of muscle-pain-relieving creams.
Millions of consumers use such over-the-counter products to relieve pain from aching muscles. But doctors say they contain a substance known as methyl salicylate, which if used in excess can prove harmful.
"If you had a toxic level of salycalate, you'd start with some nausea, vomiting, dizziness, some ringing in the ears," said Dr. Lewis Maharam, medical director of Elite Racing. "That would progress to a feeling of sleepiness and you could get seizures as well."
According to the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, this was the first time it has reported a death from the use of sports cream. Doctors said, used in moderation, the products are safe.
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