Cheerleading is one of the most dangerous sports in New Jersey and across the United States. According to the Washington Post, the activity causes more than half of all “catastrophic injuries to female athletes,” including brain injuries, spine injuries, skull fractures, paralysis and death.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that cheerleading is among the top 20 sports with the highest rates of brain injuries. Studies show that more concussions happen during practice than competition because more errors occur as routines are being perfected. More than a third of all cheerleading accidents involve head injuries.
Medical research shows that even one concussion can cause abnormal brain activity of up to a year. Repeated head injuries can lead to permanent disabilities, including memory and attention issues. Experts advise cheerleaders who have suffered a head injury to seek immediate medical care. It is also imperative to get appropriate rest and take a significant break from the sport. Failure to do so could lead to a more serious brain injury.
Of course, prevention is the best medicine. Cheerleaders should never feel pressured to perform a routine they feel uncomfortable with. Likewise, parents should not be afraid to speak up if they feel their child is in danger.
A head injury may require weeks or months of recovery time. In some cases, the brain damage may be permanent. A person who suffers a brain injury due to the negligence of another party may wish to consult with an attorney in order to determine how best to seek compensation from the at-fault party for current and future medical expenses and other damages that have been incurred.