The American Academy of Pediatrics Says Cheerleading Should be a Sport

Pediatricians in the United States believe that cheerleading should be classified as a sport. Why? Well, because it's dangerous. Throwing each other into the air and creating pyramids that are sky high can lead to serious injuries and the activity needs to be subject safety regulations as other sports.

Over the course of the last two decades, cheerleading injuries have increased. A statement was released online in the journal Pediatrics online. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that schools should now classify cheerleading as a sport to provide those involved with safety guidelines, supervision and even more skilled coaches. In addition, cheerleaders should be expected to pass physical exams prior to joining the squad as required with any other sport.

'Not everyone is fully aware of how cheerleading has evolved over the last couple of decades. It used to be just standing on the sidelines and doing cheers and maybe a few jumps,' said Dr. Cynthia LaBella, a sports medicine specialist at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital and an author of the new policy.

In 2011, nearly 37,000 cheerleaders, aged from 6 to 22, headed to the emergency room for treatment of injuries. This comes directly from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and also indicates that this number is four times as high as it was in 1980 because cheerleaders weren't putting on such risky performances.

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