Some people may argue that cheerleading isn’t a sport, but that doesn’t
change the fact that it is a dangerous activity that leads to many injuries
every single year. From acrobatics to mid-air tosses, there are a lot
of opportunities for cheerleaders to hurt themselves. The American Academy
of Pediatrics recently released a new set of guidelines for coaches and
school officials to follow in an attempt to prevent unnecessary injuries.
One of the co-authors of the AAP guidelines says that hospitals have been
seeing a major increase in the number of cheerleading injuries each year.
This is partially because there has been a huge increase in the number
of cheerleaders in America in recent years. As more and more teens start
to get into the activity, it facilitates more injuries. One of the main
concerns is that few schools and universities consider cheerleading a
sport. Because of this, cheerleading isn’t technically subject to
the same rules and regulations that all official sports are. Coaches can
get away with compelling their cheerleaders to do dangerous stunts, and
won’t be punished if the stunts result in injuries.
One doctor told ABC News that because cheerleading is considered a club
sports it gets haphazard in terms of coaching qualifications or safety
nets. Physicians are trying to encourage schools to consider cheerleading
a sanctioned sport so that they can increase the acceptability into good
medical care after an injury, require qualified coaches, mandate the use
of adequate facilities and allow injury surveillance in schools. The AAP
has also encouraged schools to set limits as to how high their pyramid
formations can be and what surfaces stunts can be performed on.
As well, the AAP has recommended that all cheerleaders submit to a pre-season
physical to make sure that they are healthy to perform their stunts and
that they be given better training before being told to perform dangerous
feats. The injuries that are most common in cheerleading are ankle and
knee sprains, but doctors say that more people are coming into the emergency
room with a neck injury or a traumatic brain injury after falling in a
cheer accident. Most of the time, these tragedies occur when the cheer
members drop their flier on accident, or when a pyramid crumbles.
The fliers and cheerleaders that are often on the top of formations are
at greater risk to injury than the other participants. If you have been
injured in a cheerleading accident, then you may be able to sue the school
or the coach that encouraged the dangerous stunt. Contact a personal injury lawyer at
Morris, Dewett & Savoie, LLC if you need more information about litigating in a cheer accident. You
may be able to obtain damages for your pain and suffering, medical costs,
and the lost wages from missing a job.