Background: Over 50% of all catastrophic injuries in women’s sport occur in cheerleading, but unlike other sports, no central tracking system exists. Cheerleading is also among the top 20 sports with highest rate of head injuries, according to American Association of Neurological Surgeons. 12% of all cheerleaders fall between the ages of 5 – 13. Serious Cheerleading Injuries On the Rise Due to Dangerous Stunts, â¸ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) â All rights reserved. Sprains and strains of the legs are the most common injury occurring in cheerleading.3 The top injury locations for sprains and strains included ankles, neck, lower back, knee, and wrist.4 Back Pain is a common injury that many cheerleaders experience and can be caused by muscle strains.  In … This is important to consider since cheerleading has gone from leading "yells" at games to a performance sport that often includes tumbling and stunts . Unfortunately, not all cheerleading squads have the necessary equipment, budget, or adequate supervision by a coach trained in acrobatics and gymnastics. The average cheerleading squad size in Britain is 18.4 (per club), and the average age is 15. Preseason training should allow time for general conditioning and sport-specific conditioning. Consider the typical cheerleading stunt.  1 As cheerleading This is absolutely true; approximately 25,000 cheerleaders ended up in the emergency room in 2007, and the number does continually rise. Report cheerleading injury information at the. If a girl twists an ankle, the only option is the emergency room. Cheerleading seems, well, so cheery, it's hard to associate it with skull fracture, paralysis and death. In fact, cheer has the 2 nd highest rate of injuries resulting in time loss of at least three weeks. 12% are dancers, and 62% of all cheerleaders are involved in a second sport. Cheerleading injuries affect all … Among female college athletes, cheerleading accounts for 66.7% of all catastrophic injuries. The wrists, shoulders, ankles, head, and neck are most commonly injured. Making current information available and accessible to high school cheerleaders enables athletes and coaches to improve the prevention, recognition, and treatment of cheerleading related injuries. Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. “Although injury rates are low, when injuries do occur in cheerleading they tend to be more severe than when injuries occur in other sports (i.e. © 2006-2021 LoveToKnow, Corp., except where otherwise noted. Brenda Shields and Gary Smith published a study in Pediatrics that used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to estimate the number of cheerleading-related injuries treated in emergency departments across the country. Injuries. Many girls went to the emergency room with sprained ankles, twisted knees or other more minor injuries. 2009. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that cheerleading led to 16,000 emergency room visits in 2002 (the latest year for data). Astonishingly, cheerleading at the college level was associated with Of the 85 known squads in Britain, almost 80 are British Cheerleading Association members. But cheerleading is no longer a pep squad team that leads cheers from the sidelines. While cheerleaders can easily suffer common injuries like sprains and strains, a few widely publicized studies note that cheerleaders suffer more injuries resulting in death or paralysis than any other sport including football. According to the book "Cheerleading and the Law: Risk Management Strategies," with all of the high flying involved in cheerleading, injuries can happen. Dr. Tanaka is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of sports medicine injuries. Pediatrics. Get exercise tips to make your workouts less work and more fun. Concussions and other closed-head injuries account for 4% to 6% of all cheerleading injuries, 5, 9, 11 and head and neck injuries account for approximately 15% of all cheerleading injuries seen in US emergency departments. Most happen during pyramids. Repeated blows to the head and body mean sustaining an injury is less of an if and more of a when. All sports do; even sports like ping pong or golf carry the potential risk of injury. Elizabeth Quinn is an exercise physiologist, sports medicine writer, and fitness consultant for corporate wellness and rehabilitation clinics. Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Research from the journal Pediatrics recently revealed that competitive cheer injuries tend to be more serious than injuries sustained in other high school sports (like baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer). Statistics from last year shows that about 55% of the Catastrophic injuries in high school girls come from the Cheerleading sports. Not all the injuries were serious. To accurately compare sports, the study would need to have about the same number of participants from all sports. Cheerleading injuries in United States high schools. Studies from the National Center for Catastrophic Sports, along with The University of North Carolina and Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts, say the percentages of injuries related to football are in the 90th percentile, while catastrophic injuries attributed to cheerleading are over 65 percent. Require safety certification and ongoing education for coaches, Have trainers on site for cheerleading performances, Follow safety regulations like using mats on the floor during performances. They found that 78% of the cheerleaders had suffered at least one injury during their careers, and those athletes had an average of 3.5 injuries throughout their careers. What makes cheerleading particularly noted is the type of injuries cheerleaders suffer. At the collegiate level where cheerleading is co-ed, 50% participants are male. A more accurate comparison could be made by looking at injuries occurring during a specific time period. Serious or catastrophic injuries to female athletes include: Because today's cheerleading stunts require a high degree of skill in gymnastics and acrobatics, it's important to have appropriate instruction and coaching. Results: Twenty-seven of the injured cheerleaders were women. Cute Cheers and Chants for Kids Football Cheerleaders.  Cheerleading Safety Standards in 1987.3 The rules and regulations for the safety of cheerleaders need to continue to expand based on the statistical data gathered on injury type as well as the intensity and extreme level of athletic demands of the progressing sport. Overall injury rates for practices, pep rallies, athletic events, and cheerleading competitions were 1.0, 0.6, 0.6, and 1.4 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, respectively. Check that the coach is also certified in first aid and CPR. New statistics show cheerleading is the leading cause of catastrophic injuries leading to paralysis or death among high school and college-age girls. Overall, the most commonly injured body sites were the head/face (38.5%), ankle (11.7%), The most common injuries are reported as being brought on due to performing pyramids; these include broken arms, elbow injuries, broken noses, knee injuries, sprained wrists and ankles, back and head injuries, and broken collarbones. Some experts, though, think cheerleading is more hazardous than football and other sports, especially when looking at very serious injuries. Parents, coaches, and athletes should be educated about ways to reduce and recognize injuries in cheerleading. In some high schools and colleges, this may mean the coach is a former cheerleader or a parent, rather than a trained gymnastics instructor. However, sometimes the headlines do not tell the entire story.  One in six cheerleading injuries are to the head and neck. Catastrophic Injuries. In part one of this series on cheerleading, I discussed a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, critics are quick to point out that statistics need to be considered within the wider context of the entire sport. While ankle sprains are most common, sprains can also occur in the knees, wrists, neck and back. The most famous and widely publicized report on the dangers of cheerleading had media outlets proclaiming in headlines that cheerleading was more dangerous than football. All Rights Reserved. 1 … When you think of cheerleading, you probably don't think of it as a dangerous sport. A 2018 study (p.31) by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research cited that 42 females suffered serious injuries during the course of the study. Most Common Injuries. Some of the most common cheerleading injuries are broken arms and busted lips. The Right First Aid for Sports Injuries Can Help You Heal Faster, Just 2% of Teens Meet Veggie Intake Recommendations, CDC Says, How to Prevent and Treat Wrestling Injuries, Everything You Need to Know About CrossFit Girl Workouts of the Day, Even Healthy Athletes May Binge and Purge. Fitness.Athletes should maintain a good fitness level during the season and off-season. How Do Athletes Train for Each Winter Olympic Sport? This increase in risky cheerleading stunts makes cheerleading one of the most dangerous sports for women and girls. The raw statistic that cheerleading accounts for two-thirds of all catastrophic injuries among female high school athletes was repeated by news outlets across New York. The doctor, who treats numerous cheer-related injuries during the school year, thinks cheerleading’s semi-sport status means that there “may not be proper trainers on hand during practices.” With the increasing popularity of this sport, the injury rate also continues to rise with an annual cheerleading related injury rate increase of 189% being shown from 2001 to 2012.2,3,5 The overall injury rate is relatively low compared to other sports, but the injuries tend to be more severe.8 … Objective: To obtain, describe, and compare cheerleading injury data and associated factors. How Can a Sports Physical Exam Help Your Child? Why wasn't this page useful? Here are some of the key statistics about concussions and catastropohic injuries in cheerleading. “Some schools have actually seen more concussions on the cheerleading … Concussions and other head injuries “Concussions are one of the most common injuries for cheerleaders,” said Dr. Olsen. While the overall injury rate for cheerleading is relatively low compared to other sports, the injuries in cheer tend to be more severe. A catastrophic injury is defined as a severe injury to the spine (including the spinal cord) or brain and may also include skull or spinal fractures. Most cheers now involve complicated choreography that includes tossing people into the air, back-flips, tall human pyramids, and other dramatic and risky acrobatic stunts. Studies show that cheerleading, as a sport, has a higher risk of concussion (14 per 100,000) during practice, when athletes are learning new skills, versus during competition (12 per 100,000), when skills are already learned and perfected. Cheerleading carries the highest rate of catastrophic injury in sports. Back injuries are also common in cheerlea Approximately 66 percent of all catastrophic injuries in either high school or college female athletes occur due to cheerleading accidents. Statistics on catastrophic injuries. Research from the journal Pediatrics recently revealed that competitive cheer injuries tend to be more serious than injuries sustained in other high school sports (like baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer). Certain Athletes Are Especially Prone to AnorexiaâAre You at Risk? National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. The annual cheerleading injury rate almost doubled from 2001 to 2012. Cheerleading injury statistics The study involved injury reports from cheerleaders at 107 high schools over a period of five years. This includes skull fractures, cervical spine injuries, brain injury or concussions, paralysis, and death. However, cheerleading injuries are often much more severe, making up 50-66 percent of catastrophic injuries in female athletes. Most injuries suffered in cheerleading are non-catastrophic injuries, or those that are not life-threatening or permanently life-altering. a relative lack of data on injuries. After cheerleading, sports with notably high numbers of serious injuries to female athletes include gymnastics, track, field hockey, and lacrosse. Here are some ways to stay safe. Believe it or not, one study ranked cheerleading 16th on a list of sports with the highest number of injuries. Again, the sport with the highest injury rate was boys’ football, with 11.8 injuries per 1,000 athletic exposures (AE) compared to cheerleading with 0.5 injuries per AE, a rate 23 times higher than cheerleading. While most cheerleading injuries are typical of high school and college athletes in any sport and includeÂ muscle strains and strainsÂ orÂ injuries to the ligaments, the number of severe or catastrophic cheerleading injuries is on the rise. The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research started collecting data in 1982, and the 2017 report ranked cheerleading as the number one cause of catastrophic injuries in female athletes. 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