The Dangers of Cheerleading
The football field can be a dangerous place; but are the sidelines even more hazardous? Nearly 30,000 cheerleaders are sent to the emergency room each year with injuries ranging from sprains and strains, to fractures, to even paralysis and death. “In all fairness, this is just like football,” plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says. “The injuries, when they do occur, can really be serious."
Many of the injuries occur during stunts that send the cheerleaders high into the air. A 100-pound girl tossed 25 feet in the air falls toward the ground at about 30 mph. If she hits concrete, she lands at a force of about seven tons, or 14,000 pounds!
“It has serious consequences for bones and brain tissue,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains. “You can be seriously injured.”
Questions for Parents of Cheerleaders
Cheerleading Safety Tips
1. Practice an emergency response plan with your squad:
2. Perform on an appropriate surface:
3. Wear the appropriate shoes:
4. Learn the safe heights for a cheerleader to be tossed depending on the surface of the ground: