Recent research is indicating that cheerleading is a dangerous sport. With two-thirds of serious sports injuries suffered by female competitive cheerleaders, and even more concussions that go unreported, United States cheerleaders are at a high risk of injury. Surprisingly, most of these serious spine, head and neck injuries occur to the team members on the ground catching their teammates who perform the acrobatics.
According to Dr. Cynthia LaBella, who published a paper about cheerleading injuries, public perception of the sport is that cheerleaders are entertainers rather than athletes. She advocates cheerleading to be nationally recognized as a sport so the boys and girls who participate can be provided better regulation and qualified coaches.
Any sport can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken to prevent injury. Given the popularity of cheerleading, hopefully it will become nationally recognized as a sport and these children and young adults will get the guidance they deserve.