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Cheerleading Injuries Can Be Prevented by Following New AAP Guidelines

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

Jan 24, 2013 2:31:00 PM

Cheerleading doesn’t seem like an activity that would lead to a high number of injuries, but that’s actually untrue. A significant number of cheerleaders are injured every year. These injuries can be prevented by following new guidelines set out by the AAP.

Cheerleaders are expected fixtures at football games, basketball games, pep rallies and more. However, this once rather innocent activity has been transformed in recent years. It’s no longer just the process of leading spectators to cheer for the home team. Cheerleaders today are competitive athletes. As such, they can be the victim of injuries just like any other athlete. However, thanks to new AAP guidelines, many of these injuries can be prevented.

Key Recommendations

While the AAP’s October 2012 report contains a wealth of important information, there are a few key recommendations that need to be addressed. These all speak directly to the prevention of injuries for cheerleaders in competitive athletic environments. These include the following:

  • A written emergency plan needs to be in place, and all parents, coaches and teachers should have access to this plan.


  • All states in the US should designate cheerleading as a “sport”, which would grant cheerleading teams and schools access to a range of benefits, including better coaches and medical care.


  • A spring or foam floor, or grass or turf should be used for pyramid and partner stunts at all times. These should never be performed on hard flooring of any type, nor should they be performed when the floor/ground is wet or uneven.


  • Cheerleaders should be trained in spotting techniques. In addition, cheerleaders should be prohibited from performing stunts unless they can show documented skill progression and training.


  • The victims of suspected head injuries should be removed immediately and not allowed to return until they have been released by medical personnel after a full examination.


  • A preseason physical should be required for all cheerleaders, and strength and conditioning coaches should be accessible to all participants as well.

According to the AAP, up to 60% of all cheerleading injuries are due to stunts and formations. 96% of all cheerleader concussions are also related to these activities. The guidelines listed above are designed to mitigate this serious threat.

Injured in Action?

If you or someone you love has been injured while cheerleading, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help. Until such regulations as listed above are in place, legal help may be your only recourse.

Topics: Slip & Fall, Serious Accidents & Injuries