Cheerleading Top Cause of Catastrophic Sport Injuries
Competitive cheer involving high-energy acrobatics is the number one sport for girls and it is only growing in popularity. It may come as a surprise that competitive cheerleading has become one of the most dangerous athletic activities for women. It ranks second in catastrophic sport injuries when compared to all sports; only behind American football. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, 65.2 percent of all catastrophic injuries in youth sports are related to cheerleading. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in a 2012 report and policy statement, cheerleading “accounted for 65 percent of all direct catastrophic injuries to girl athletes at the high school level and 70.8 percent at the college level” between 1982 and 2009. Further, research has found that there is a higher impact when a cheerleader takes a fall in a gymnastics style stunt than the impact sustained from being tackled by a professional football player.