Cheerleading injuries are becoming more and more a part of the sport as complicated stunts become more popular. In fact, cheerleading is now considered to be the most dangerous sport for girls. It accounted for 65.1 percent of all catastrophic sports injuries for high school females over the past 25 years. These injuries aren't limited to just sprained ankles or bad backs. The injuries received by high school and college cheerleaders range from strains and lacerations to fatal and disabling injuries, such as head injuries.
Types Of Cheerleading Injuries
The best statistics on cheerleading injuries come from the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. They have been tracking the sports injuries of cheerleaders from 1982 to 2007. In this time, there were 2 reported deaths from cheerleading and 45 serious injuries among high school cheerleaders.
However, despite this discouraging data most injuries that result from cheerleading are very minor. Since cheerleading is as athletic as most other sports, they share a lot of common injuries. Sprained ankles, strained muscles and minor broken bones are common due to cheerleading practices.
Ways To Reduce Cheerleading Related Injuries
Until cheerleading becomes more widely regulated, safety will always be an issue that is up to the school, the parents and the coaches. Camps and training have mandated safety regulations, but there are no standards across the board. If you're a parent or a cheerleader and want to increase the safety of your squad, you can use the following guidelines. Most of these safety regulations apply to the coaches' training and your coach should be evaluated for these guidelines:
Be sure that the coach is certified through a safety program. The Universal Cheerleading Association has recommended programs for safety training if you need a referral. Coaches, like all teachers, should be put through background checks. The coach should also follow common restrictions on basket tosses and the use of mats.
The coach should always teach skills in the proper order. Cheerleaders must have the basics down before moving on to complicated stunts. Injuries often occur because the cheerleaders haven't been properly trained in the skills they are using. The coach should instruct the student in not only the moves but also in how to spot one another.
Before a new coach is hired, the school should do a background check. The school must also look into the past injury report on the coach. This can help the school determine whether or not the coach would be a good hire. In a high school, parents should insist on these steps being taken before the coach is able to start teaching.
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