Cheerleading Remains a Top Cause of Catastrophic Sports Injuries
How can I protect my cheerleader from serious injury?
Cheerleading is a high energy sport that has grown tremendously in popularity throughout the years. The danger of this competitive sport is often overlooked by parents. Cheerleading ranks second in catastrophic sports injuries, right below football. Alarmingly, researchers at the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research found that cheerleading is the cause of 65 percent of all catastrophic sports injuries in youth sports. Our Georgia personal injury lawyers at Randall F. Rogers, PC discuss the hazards associated with cheerleading below and offer some tips to protect your cheerleader.
Cheerleading Linked to Catastrophic Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries
A catastrophic injury is defined as a serious injury to the spine or brain that results in long-term disability or ongoing injury. Cheerleading has been linked to catastrophic spine and spinal cord injuries, including fractured vertebrae, nerve damage, and even paralysis. Cheerleaders also suffer traumatic brain injuries at high rates, which can happen due to falls. Research has shown that cheerleaders who fall while performing gymnastics stunts sustain a higher impact than that suffered by professional football players during a tackle.
Protecting Your Cheerleader
If your child is a cheerleader, there are steps that you as parents can take to ensure your child is safe while participating in the sport. Your primary mission should be investigating the safety of your child’s cheerleading program. Ask the cheerleading program the following questions:
- Are the coaches and cheerleaders trained in proper spotting techniques?
- Does the school have a concussion policy?
- Does the cheerleading team practice in a safe space with necessary mats and other safety equipment?
- Are cheerleaders provided with strength training and assessed before performing stunts?
As more attention has been drawn to the potential hazards of cheerleading, sports organizers have enacted additional regulations over the sport. It is hoped that with more oversight, cheerleaders at all levels nationwide will be protected adequately from injury. If you or a loved one has been injured while participating in cheerleading or another youth sport, contact a personal injury attorney in your area for immediate legal assistance.
Posted in: Spinal Cord Injury