Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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Cheerleading brain injuries are underreported

Teenagers are among the hardest groups to study and understand. They are at a time in their lives that they feel invincible. They are under enormous internal and external pressures to perform and that pressure can cause them to make dangerous decisions regarding their health. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that many cheerleaders underreport symptoms following a serious brain injury. They either do not understand or do not appreciate the danger they are in because they are more concerned with performing in the competition.

Cheerleading is especially dangerous because it has the highest rate of catastrophic injury in all sports, even football. It accounts for 66 percent of all severe (permanent disability or long-lasting) injuries in females.

Paradoxically, the study found that it wasn't the flyers (girls being thrown in the air) who received the most injuries but instead the bases (the girls who catch the flyers). The study also found that as cheerleaders grow up and continue competing, the rate of serious injuries increases rapidly. For example, collegiate cheerleaders sustain serious injuries five times as often as high school cheerleaders.

The concern is that cheerleaders are being cleared to compete before their brain has recovered. Even a single concussion is a matter for concern and repeated brain injuries can result in severe long-term consequences. Moreover, re-injuring an already injured brain can cause even greater damage.

If your loved one was injured, it is important that you get medical treatment for their brain. Brain injuries are so dangerous because symptoms may take days or weeks to manifest and by then it could be too late. After you get treatment, you may want to speak to an attorney to go over the events that led to the injury. Depending on the severity of the injuries, he or she may need months or years of assistance. An attorney can help you prepare and get your family ready.

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
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