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Monday, October 22, 2012

Cheerleading A Dangerous Sport from an ENT Perspective

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published its first policy statement regarding cheerleading due to the increasing rate of injuries found in this increasingly competitive sport.

Who knew that although the overall risk of injury is lower than other sports, it has one of the highest rates of catastrophic injuries including closed-head injury, skull fractures, cervical spine injuries, paralysis, and even death.

After all, cheerleaders do not wear protective gear and safety is utterly dependent on external factors such as spotters and floor protection.

From an ENT perspective of a solo private practice, cheerleading is one of the leading causes of facial fractures in a student population.

Such fractures include nasal bone and orbital blow-out fractures sustained from elbows and other flying limbs.

Although AAP made 12 recommendation to make this sport safer, I was going to suggest that all cheerleaders should wear face-guards to minimize risk of facial trauma.

Here's one called Mueller Nose Guard. Available for purchase on Amazon.com .
Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention. Pediatrics 2012;130:966-971.

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