Cheerleading isn't just jumping and waving pompoms - it has become as athletic and potentially as dangerous as a sport and should be designated one to improve safety, the nation's leading group of pediatricians says.
The number of cheerleaders injured each year has climbed dramatically in the last two decades. Common stunts that pose risks include tossing and flipping cheerleaders in the air and creating human pyramids that reach 15 feet high or more.
In a new policy statement released online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the
Just like other athletes, cheerleaders should be required to do conditioning exercises and undergo physical exams before joining the squad, the new policy says.