Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field: American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention (Sports Med Res)
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention

Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness. Pediatrics 2012; 130:966–971.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement that describes the epidemiology or cheerleading injuries and offers 12 recommendations for injury prevention. The statement reviews common injury mechanisms, types of injuries, head injuries, catastrophic injuries, risk factors for injury, and injury prevention.

1 comments:

Alyson said...

When I saw this article posted, I was very excited to see something like this in print! I am currently a GA ATC for a collegiate cheerleading team. I can say first had, anecdotally, this article correlates with what I have seen in the clinic thus far. There are a couple of main points I want to address that I see similar between this article and my current cheer team, as well as somethings that, without this institution's dedication to sports medicine and athlete health, these cheerleaders would be in rough shape. First off, I completely agree with the idea that there is an increase in injury rate during cheerleading because of the lack of experience in coaching and strength and conditions availability. These athletes are required to lift, and push and be pretty strong individuals, yet there is no formal training for proper form during strength and conditioning workouts and fitness tests. Instead these athletes are going by what they have heard, or read about, which can help, but isn't helping them with decreasing injuries. Another idea to think about is the fact that, at least this institution, the co-ed squad recruits males to become the bases, and these males most of the time don't have any previous experience in cheering. This poses a huge risk to injury if those responsible for catching and propelling these flyers have no clue what they are doing. Most of them, I would doubt, have more than a couple days of practice training before placed in a situation where someone else's body is in their hands.

Another concerning statistic is that cheerleading ahs the highest incident rate of catastrophic injuries compared to sports like soccer, basketball, etc. This concerning because their activity level and contact amount is not comparable to these sports. So why are they having such a high incident rate of injury. Again, relate it back to the lack of experience and proper supervision. The LE injuries was not a surprise to me as I have seen a share of sprains and strains just this fall.

The practice surface and facility also plays a role in injury prevention. I can say that this indeed needs improvement, in almost all colleges where there are cheer teams. This would be the first step to take to decrease injury rates.

I was very happy to see that the institution I work at has fulfilled the majority of the guidelines to help prevent injuries. We have access available daily to these athletes, and state of the art sports medicine care. Besides having full practice coverage, these cheerleaders and dance team for that matter, have accept to the majority, if not all the amenities given to other athletes. The all go through an extensive PPE, are supervised, have access to EAP and concussion education, as well as MDs for further evaluation, and are given care when possible by their ATC. This helps keep our cheerleaders healthy, although our injury reports may not say the same thing! Overall, I believe we do a great job covering this underestimated sport, and this is great for us.

More needs to be done to all for a universal coverage and care plan if these athletes are not going to be considered a true sport anytime soon. Proactive care is the best way to begin this.

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