The American Academy of Pediatrics weighs in
The American Academy of Pediatrics announced it’s recommendation that cheerleading be classified as a sport in all 50 states. This would mean cheerleaders would receive the same safety attention as other athletes. Currently, only 29 states classify cheerleading as a sport, an activity that approximately 3 million girls participate in every year. There is an average of 26,000 cheerleading injuries each year, and there were 37,000 injuries requiring emergency room treatment reported in 2011.
According to NBC Nightly News video below, performing the high-flying lifts and flips requires the skills of a gymnast. Injuries have been surging in terms of broken bones and concussions. In addition, 66% of all catastrophic injuries to high school girls occur in cheerleading. Falling from 15 to 18′ in the air while performing can result in skull fractures, broken necks, and broken bones.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following should be mandated:
- Qualified coaches
- Better medical care
- Limits on practice time
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Source: NBC Nightly News