Epidemiology of Concussions Among Pediatric Cheerleaders in the United States, 2009-2018

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Ches Jones Bart Hammig


Cheerleading is a popular activity in the United States with an estimated 4 million participants from Elementary school age to College. While cheerleading can be a safe activity, it can also result in injury ranging from minor sprains to serious neurological conditions and even death. One severe outcome of cheerleading is concussions. The purpose of this study is to review epidemiological data related to the descriptive factors and mechanisms of concussion as a result of cheerleading. Data was obtained from the Consumer Product Safety Commissions National Electronic Surveillance System for the years 2008 through 2019. The narrative portion of the data was used to identify mechanism of the concussion. Concussion injuries related to cheerleading activity has increased every year from 2009-2017. The majority of concussion (83%) occurred between the ages of 12 and 17 with 98% occurring to females. The mechanism most cited from the narrative for concussions were falls (52.2%) followed by having another cheerleader fall on the injured cheerleader (13.6%). Other common mechanisms included head to head collision, hit by elbow to the head and hit by knee to the head. More interesting findings identified the cheerleaders were in a ‘pyramid’ or ‘formation’ preceding the concussion. The conclusions identifies potential prevention strategies to address and reduce concussions among cheerleaders including reducing the height of cheerleading activities, providing protective equipment to the elbows and potential elimination of dangerous routines.

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JONES, Ches; HAMMIG, Bart. Epidemiology of Concussions Among Pediatric Cheerleaders in the United States, 2009-2018. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 5, may 2020. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/2129>. Date accessed: 19 may 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v8i5.2129.
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