Once considered a sideline activity, cheerleading is evolving into a more athletic and competitive sport for many schools. Experts say concussions now top the list of injuries sustained by high school cheerleaders. Dr. Andrew Russman of Cleveland Clinic says that like any sport, cheerleading has risk for injury and it’s important for participants to be aware of that risk. Dr. Russman says the highest concussion risk in cheerleading is usually for the “flyer,” but cheerleaders can also be injured during pyramids and tumbling exercises.
Dr. Russman says that it’s important for organizations who incorporate stunting and tumbling into cheering to have the same medical resources available and follow the same concussion protocols as other sports. “If they’re not currently involved, I would encourage schools or communities to make sure that they’re getting those medical resources available because those risks of injuries are higher with cheerleading with stunting than other sports and or cheerleading without stunting.”