March is National Cheerleader Safety Month!
March is Cheerleading Safety Month! Safety is a big concern in all sports and cheerleading is no exception. As a former NCA Cheerleader I have seen the progression in the complexity of stunts and tumbling, which increases the chance of injury and the need for physical therapy. Over the last 20 years the sport of cheerleading has drastically changed, adding more difficult acrobatic stunts. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than half of all cheerleading injuries occur during stunts and 31 percent of all injuries are concussions. Other common cheerleading injuries include ligament sprains, muscle strains and fractures.
Cheerleading Safety Month comes each year to raise awareness that safety is vital to the health and performance of our team’s biggest supporters.
Basic Cheer Safety: * Remove all jewelry * Wear athletic shoes * Keep your hair tied back * Always have supervision * Practice on safe surfaces such as mats and padded floors * Have an emergency plan
In order to stay out of harm’s way and still perform spectacular stunts, there are a few basic guidelines that must be followed:
* Get proper instruction * Always use a spotter * Follow proper progression * Practice proper technique * Don’t push it * Focus * Warm up * Communicate * Don’t ignore injuries * Stay in shape
Of course, cheerleading safety should be practiced any time cheerleading is being performed, but March – Cheerleading Safety Month – provides the perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on cheerleading safety.
As an NCA Cheerleader I know first-hand the level of dedication and athleticism it takes to be a great cheerleader. Just like gymnasts, divers, or ballet dancers, developing a personalized treatment plan after injury is crucial to your recovery. If you or your little cheerleader are looking to learn injury prevention techniques or are recovering from an injury, let me help you!