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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Cheerleading: the surprising leading cause of injury for Orange County's female athletes.

What is the leading cause of catastrophic injury in young women? Car accidents? Drug and alcohol use? No, it’s actually cheerleading. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, cheerleading accounts for 65% of all catastrophic injuries in high school and college women. Catastrophic injuries are defined as those injuries that result in death or permanent disability, such as brain injuries, spine injuries, serious neck injuries and internal injuries. Cheerleading also results in a large number of less serious injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, lacerations and closed head injuries. 
 
In November 2009, The Journal of Athletic Training published three studies that examined the risks and injuries associated with cheerleading. They found that more than 80% of injuries occurred during practice. The majority of injuries occurred when cheerleaders were trying to do a stunt or pyramid. Some girls fell from as high as 11 feet. About one quarter of injuries occurred when a cheerleader was spotting or “basing” one or more people doing a stunt.
 
To keep cheerleading safe, schools should ensure that coaches are qualified and certified. Coaches should have emergency CPR and first aid training. Cheerleaders should have a safe practice space with thick foam mats to protect from falls. There should be at least two spotters standing by when new stunts or gymnastic moves are being learned.  
 
When athletes are injured, they face unique challenges. As a lawyer, James Ballidis has represented injured athletes in Southern California for more than 25 years. He wrote a book that can help you on the path to recovery.  If you are a California athlete, request your FREE copy of “Athletes and Accidents, 9 Pitfalls That Can Delay Your Recovery.”  
 
The Orange county personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie represent victims of wrongful death and accidental injury due to neglect, safety violations, or inadequate supervision. If you believe your child's sports injury is due to a lack of safety measures, inadequate training or negligent supervision, you may have a personal injury case. Contact our attorneys at 866-981-5596 to learn more. The initial consultation is always free.

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