Cheerleading injuries raising alarms

Newsday—April 25, 2009

As cheerleading attracts more students, concerns by coaches, parents and others are rising about a growing number of injuries. At the same time, a movement is afoot on Long Island and in New York State to make cheerleading an official scholastic sport, which supporters say could increase the amount of money available for proper training and give cheerleaders the respect they deserve.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons issued a caution on cheer injuries at the start of this school year, citing data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stating that cheerleading injuries had more than doubled since 1990 and were estimated to have reached 74,000 in 2007.

"Cheerleading has evolved into a physically demanding and competitive sport requiring complex gymnastic maneuvers that pose a serious threat of injury," says Dr. Daniel Green, spokesman for the AAOS and a pediatric orthopedic surgeon based at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

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