Pediatrics Group Releases Policy to Avoid Cheerleading Injuries
NEW ORLEANS — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new policy that urges coaches, parents and school officials to follow guidelines and develop emergency plans to help prevent cheerleading injuries.
Currently only 29 state high school associations recognize cheerleading as a sport, while the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does not include competitive cheerleading in its lists of competitive sports. As such, cheerleaders are not given access to certified athletic trainers, mandated sports physicals and surveillance of injuries as other athletes in other sports receive.
There have been approximately 26,000 cheerleading injuries in the United States since 2007, according to AAP. Cheerleading includes fast-paced floor routines and physically demanding skills, such as pyramid building and lifting, tossing and catching athletes in the air. The stunts account for up to 60% of all cheerleading-related injuries and 96% of all concussions. Most injuries are sprains and strains to the lower extremities followed by head and neck injuries.
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