Our 14 year old wants to play football at his high school next season. We are worried about all the risks that come from playing contact sports, mostly head trauma. But, he says his older sister’s cheerleading is as dangerous. Is that true?
While football is widely recognized for the quantity and types of injuries related to its participants, your son makes a valid point about cheerleading. Last year alone, the American Associat... read more
While football is widely recognized for the quantity and types of injuries related to its participants, your son makes a valid point about cheerleading. Last year alone, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimates more than 10,000 concussions were suffered among cheerleaders, gymnasts and dancers.
A concussion is a disruption of the normal chemical activity in the brain and is caused by the brain being jarred. Concussions can cause sensitivity to light or sound, headaches, loss of memory, dizziness, balance problems, confusion, drowsiness, nausea, difficulty in concentration and other problems. Concussion symptoms disappear within seven to 10 days in approximately 80 percent of cases, but symptoms may remain for weeks, months and, occasionally, for years.
One of the biggest misconceptions people have concerning concussions has to do with the force needed to cause one. The reality is impact does not have to be hard – and it frequently happens in something other than contact sports. In fact, the person at the top of a cheerleader pyramid is 10 times more likely to suffer a concussion or a catastrophic injury than a football player.
When deciding on whether to allow your child to participate in a sport, it’s important to remember that through proper education and training, we can begin to recognize and help prevent youth sports injuries; thus minimizing long-term effects.