With the more creativity involved in cheerleading and stunt performances, it comes as no surprise that injuries are on the rise as well. According to Health Day News, over the recent decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of dangers that are associated with this unique sport. Cheerleaders are no longer wearing the long flowy skirts and stepping back and forth while clapping for the sports teams as they did back in our grandparent’s generations. Rather, cheerleaders today are piling themselves on top of one another, throwing their bodies left and right doing gymnastic-type moves on the field and basketball court in order to give the audience a good show. What once was called a sideline show has now jumped to the level of acrobatics and highly competitive sporting events. Cheerleaders are at a whole new level, and for some, the moves they are doing are placing their bodies, and very lives, at great risk.
As a result of the growing interest in this type of sport, the severity of injuries and the number has significantly increased as well, according to Robert Lurie from the Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Cynthia LaBella, the medical director of the Institute for Sports Medicine at the Ann Camp, claims that when compared to the rate of injuries of other sports (like basketball or soccer for girls) the rate is actually quite low. However, the severity of the injuries for cheerleaders is much more significant. In fact, between 60 and 70 percent of all cheerleading injuries are considered to be catastrophic injuries, for girls who are of high school age. Because of this, doctors are greatly concerned for the health and wellbeing of those who are in this extremely dangerous sport.
The involvement of cheerleaders in the United States has significantly changed over the last few decades. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims that students who are older than the age of 6 who have been involved with either school or competitive cheerleading have skyrocketed in number. In 1990, there were an estimated 600,000 students involved with cheerleading, and as of 2003, there were an estimated 3.5 million cheerleaders in the sport around the country. Reports show that an estimated 96 percent of those involved in cheerleading are required to do much more than the typical dancing routines. In fact, most cheerleaders are expected to not only be strong dancers, but also gymnastics who can jump, leap, and tumble and toss themselves and others across the stage.
LaBella reports that as the skill level and intensity increases for any given cheerleader, her likelihood of injury greatly increases. The greater abilities they have, the more likely they are to attempt even more complex stunts and tumbling passes to receive a higher score. Cheerleading injuries oftentimes include neck and back injuries as well as various other strains and breaks in the body. For some, they may experience concussions, and other injuries may be so severe that they require medical treatment, and can result in possibly even death. For example, if a group of cheerleaders is stunting and something goes wrong: The flyer (girl at the top of the stunt) may not land properly, and if that is on her neck or head, it could even result in death.
The AAP is seeking to have the institution of cheerleading classified as a sport because of the high levels of injuries that can result from it. If this can be accomplished, there will be more protection for injured athletics to make sure they are treated the same as an injured football player, for example. In the event you believe your student was wrongfully injured because of the negligent actions of another person, consider contacting Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, today for the Shreveport personal injury lawyer who can help you!