Concussion most common injury among cheerleaders: study

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Aurora, CO – High school cheerleaders are known for being prominent on the sidelines, but a new study puts their sports-related injuries front and center.

Although cheerleaders’ overall injury rates are lower than most other high school sports, the injuries they suffer are more severe, according to a study from researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Researchers analyzed national high school sports-related injuries from the 2009-2010 school year through 2013-2014. Out of 22 high school sports studied, cheerleading ranked 18th in terms of injury rate. However, the sport was second only to gymnastics for the proportion of injuries that resulted in athletes being sidelined for at least three weeks, according to a press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which published the study.

Among cheerleader injuries, concussions were the most common, making up nearly one-third of all injuries. The cheerleader concussion rate (2.21 per 10,000 athletes) was lower than the average of all sports combined (3.78) and all girls’ sports (2.70).

The study was published online Dec. 10 in the journal Pediatrics.