As Pennsylvania residents may know, cheerleading is a dangerous sport. According to a 2013 report, cheerleading accidents were responsible for more than 50 percent of serious accidents to female athletes, including brain injuries, skull fractures, spinal injuries, paralysis and deaths.
The risk of getting a concussion is higher during practice sessions as opposed to competition. The difference is that practice may involved unlearned routines while competitions are performed after the routine has been perfected. Over 36 percent of injuries related to cheerleading involve head injuries. Some injuries to cheerleaders may include the flyer, the individual who is held up by other cheerleaders. If those charged with catching the flyer miss or catch the flyer inappropriately, it may result in an injury. Performing a tumbling routine may also result in injuries if it is not properly executed.
Although cheerleaders normally do not perform routines for a long period of time, strenuous exertion such as tumbling, dancing and performing stunts is involved. Problems may arise if the participants do not put in enough hours practicing or are improperly trained. As with any physical routine, things can go wrong, resulting in an injury. A brain injury caused by a concussion may last for years following the injury, appearing as abnormal activity of brain waves. Attention span may be limited and athletes may have attention and memory problems and are more apt to have Parkinson’s with increased age.
An individual who has suffered a brain injury may face extensive medical costs, a long recuperative period and lost time from work. If the injury was caused by the negligent act of another, a personal injury attorney might find it advisable to file a lawsuit against the responsible party seeking compensation for the losses that the injured victim has sustained.