It was five years ago that a high school cheerleader in Maine suffered a horrifying head injury during a “basket toss” stunt, in which she fell some 20 feet after being thrown in the air by her teammates at practice.
In a lawsuit she filed three years ago, the former Poland Regional High School student described the aftermath of her concussion, which involved dizziness, sensitivity to light, awful headaches, long sleeping stretches and difficulty concentrating that resulted in slipping grades. The lawsuit alleged the school didn’t properly supervised the practice, failed to halt the practice once the student athlete was injured, didn’t observe her injury or provide prompt medical attention and violated a host of industry rules and standards as well as Maine law.
Now, according to a recent report published in the journal Pediatrics, we know these injuries aren’t all that uncommon among cheerleaders. There are approximately 400,000 students nationally participating in high school cheerleading. Of those, about 124,000 are in competitive “spirit squads.” These squads demand discipline, skill and increasing athletic ability, and that has meant the risk of injury has risen. Continue reading