Cheerleading concussion numbers higher than football's at UGA

Despite the repeated concussion awareness boosts in recent years for football, hockey, baseball, rugby, and many others, cheerleading concussions have rarely been discussed.


This is concerning because cheerleaders’ heads are at risk every time they attempt a stunt or a gymnastic maneuver. In fact, the University of Georgia sports medicine director recently said that the university had seen more concussions in cheerleading than in either football or soccer.



Practicing and perfecting cheerleading routines is a long and hazardous process, and with every failed attempt, every fall or bad landing, the participants are running the danger of a concussion. And since cheerleaders typically don’t wear any form of head protection, they are even more susceptible to head injury.


Perhaps the sport should begin normalizing some form of head protection during practices. While it would be impractical and less necessary for cheerleaders to wear head safety equipment while performing their finalized routines, let’s minimize the risk to their heads while they prepare that finished product.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.