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Did You Know?: Cheerleading Injuries

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Air date: August 24, 2008


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It's true. Cheerleading is the most dangerous sport for women in high school and college.

From 1982 to 2007, more than half of all women's sports injuries in high school and college -- roughly 66% -- were due to cheerleading.

So what's dangerous about waving pompoms? If youíve watched college football or any other sport with cheerleading recently, you know that modern cheerleaders have given up pompoms for high-flying leaps, flips other acrobatics.

One problem is that, unlike in gymnastics, cheerleaders donít have padded mats to cushion their spills. Another issue is that cheerleading coaches arenít necessarily trained in gymnastics -- so they may not be teaching the proper technique for tossing someone twenty feet in the air and catching her before she shatters an ankle or vertebrae.

If youíre a cheerleader or the parent of a cheerleader, you may want to check out the safety manual put together by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators. You can find cheerleading safety manuals online at

And now you know.