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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Health

Anita Vogel

Los Angeles, CA

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Cheerleading can be dangerous

November 12, 2009 - 4:05 PM | by: Anita Vogel

It may be hard to believe but cheerleading has become the single most dangerous girls’ sport – responsible for more than 60 percent of women’s sports-related injuries.

Experts say the reason is simple: a lack of supervision and training.

While most injuries from the sport are minor …they can be catastrophic and deadly.

Consider the case of 19-year-old Patty Phommannyong. The beautiful and vibrant high school cheeleader fell into a coma after her heart stopped as a result of an injury she received when she was tossed high in the air during a cheer stunt. She’s now a quadriplegic and lives in a nursing home.

Those involved in the cheerleading industry say parents need to be more involved. They should ask questions about whether the squads use mats and spotters to stand by during those dangerous stunts.

Another recommendation is for coaches to become certified by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators.
In fact only 13 states require that coaches have any sort of certification at all and there’s also a movement to make cheerleading an actual sport in the NCAA, but so far no movement on that.

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