What’s one of the most dangerous things kids are doing these days? It’s cheerleading!  

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks cheerleading is so dangerous, that they’re lobbying schools and states to recognize cheerleading as an official sport - a move they say will be lifesaving. 

A lot of people think cheerleading is nothing more than a few cartwheels and some “rah-rah-sis-boom-bah!” But these days, daredevil stunts are the norm – where young girls are thrown and flipped 20 feet in the air. There’s a reason they’re called “fliers!”

And the wild theatrical stunts are resulting in horrific injuries. In fact, last year, 37,000 cheerleaders were rushed to the ER with injuries. And statistics show that cheerleading produces a larger number of catastrophic injuries than any other sport - like skull fractures, paralyzing spinal injuries, and concussions. 

That’s exactly why the American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for cheerleading to become an official sport. And here’s how they say that would make cheerleading safer:

  • First – stunts would be regulated. Right now, it’s a free for all, and often the most daring stunts are rewarded in competitions, whether they’re safe or not. 

  • Another way making cheerleading a sport will be safer: There’d be tougher certification standards to become a coach. That’s because today, anyone can volunteer as a coach, even if they don’t know how to do a somersault, or create safe stunts.

  • And, cheerleaders would be required to do the same conditioning exercises and physical exams as other athletes, to ensure that their bodies are ready to perform challenging moves.