Today’s cheerleaders are athletes. Like other athletes, they are susceptible to injury, especially since acrobatic stunts are now commonplace in the sport.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new policy statement, “Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention.” The statement calls for cheerleading injury-prevention guidelines and emergency plans for injured cheerleaders. It also recommends that cheerleading programs have access to the same level of qualified coaches, medical care and injury surveillance as other sports.
Specific recommendations include:
Cheerleading should be designated as a sport in all states, allowing for benefits such as qualified coaches, better access to medical care and injury surveillance.
All cheerleaders should have a pre-season physical, and access to qualified strength and conditioning coaches.
Cheerleaders should be trained in all spotting techniques and only attempt stunts after demonstrating appropriate skill progression.
Pyramid and partner stunts should be performed only on a spring/foam floor or grass/turf. Never perform stunts on hard, wet or uneven surfaces. Pyramids should not be more than 2 people high.
Further information on the new guidelines may be found at www.aap.org
If you have any additional questions regarding cheerleader safety,
one of our knowledgeable attorneys at Powell Law will be happy to help you.
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