Does cheerleading need rules to be safe?
The number of cheerleaders injured each year has climbed dramatically in the last two decades. Common stunts pose risks. The stunts include tossing and flipping cheerleaders in the air and creating human pyramids that reach 15 feet high or more.
In a new policy statement released online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says school sports associations should designate cheerleading as a sport. The statement goes on to say that it should be subject to safety rules and better supervision.
That would include on-site athletic trainers, limits on practice time and better qualified coaches, the academy says.
Just like other athletes, cheerleaders should be required to do conditioning exercises and undergo physical exams before joining the squad, the new policy says.
- Posted on October 22, 2012