On behalf of Parker Thorson posted in Brain Injury on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.
Many California residents think of cheerleaders as wholesome young men and women who provide encouragement from the sidelines, but modern competitive cheerleading is a highly demanding and dangerous sport in its own right. State and national cheerleading competitions feature teams of athletes forming human pyramids and performing elaborate tricks and stunts, and catastrophic injuries are not uncommon when things go wrong.
According to media reports, cheerleading is responsible for more than half of the catastrophic injuries suffered by young female athletes. The kinds of injuries suffered by cheerleaders include, fractured skulls, concussions, paralysis, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. The American Association of Neurosurgeons ranks sports according to how many head injuries they cause, and cheerleading is among the most dangerous. The situation is unlikely to improve as protective equipment offers few benefits to cheerleaders, and the sport’s intense competition is prompting squads to perform more thrilling and dangerous stunts.