(PHOENIX – March 5, 2020) – The Netflix documentary “Cheer” has sparked a national conversation about the risk of brain damage facing competitive cheerleaders. Now that the competitive cheer competition season is in full swing, it’s an important time to educate athletes and parents of the risks of concussion in cheerleading, treatment options and helpful tips to prevent this type of brain injury.
“Many athletes don’t consider cheerleading a collision sport, but its high-flying athletes are at risk of serious falls and collisions with other participants,” said Dr. Javier Cardenas, director of the Barrow Neurological Institute’s Concussion and Brain Injury Center. “Education and awareness are key for parents and student-athletes to understand the risks of the sport and demand that club cheer squads have proper medical support, including athletic trainers.”
A fall 2019 study by the American Association of Pediatrics reveals high school cheerleaders sustained the second-highest rate of concussion in practice, only behind football. The goal is to bring attention to ways cheer-related concussions can be prevented and educate athletes, coaches and parents on the necessary precautions to take should one occur.