Did you know that March is National Cheer Safety Month?
Let’s face it…if you have daughters’, chances are they love to dance, flip or cheer. Does your son have amazing upper body strength, being able to flip, catch, and balance someone with their hands? Cheerleading used to have a bad rap for high incidences of injuries, however, in January 2016 research showed that cheerleading has the 5th lowest injury rate of 22 high school sports. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal PEDIATRICS, Dustin Currie, et al., state that using the last five years of data compiled by the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study (NHSSRIS), injury rates in cheerleading rank 18th out of 22 sports, with an overall injury rate of .71 injuries per 1,000 athlete-exposures.
Do our kids still need to be careful? Absolutely! Common cheer injuries can include: ankle sprains, knee injuries, wrist injuries, low back pain and head injuries (concussions). But these can all be prevented! Do your research!!
Look into the equipment your cheer facility uses. There should be plenty of mats and foam pits to be used when learning new skills.
Research your coaches. Are they experienced? Make sure they are well aware of the current rules and regulations of the sport. There are guidelines, which include restrictions on basket tosses, pyramid heights, and twisting/flipping stunts. Your coaches should be well aware of the restrictions for each age group to maintain overall child safety.
Is your son / daughter healthy? Your child should be healthy both during season and off-season. Make sure a comprehensive well, rounded flexibility and strength program are being implemented year round to avoid overuse injuries. Not sure of where to start? Reach out to our clinic to discuss details further with a licensed physical therapist.
So what happens if your child does get hurt? Or if he or she is complaining of achy pain? That is the perfect time to schedule a complimentary injury screen with one of our physical therapists. We can take your child through a sport specific movement evaluation to determine what movement patterns and functional impairments are present and give the appropriate exercises/stretches to help get them back on track. We will be in constant communication with your coach to help tailor practices to avoid further injury.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding injury prevention and/or rehabilitation!
Give me a T-H-E-R-A-C-O-R-E!
Jen Bazan, PT, DPT