Unexpected high school sport causes high ER visits - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Unexpected high school sport causes high ER visits

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Cheerleading has evolved over the years from shaking pom-poms at the crowd to full out competition.

 Last year more than 1.35 million kids went to the emergency room for sports related injuries according to a report by Safe Kids Worldwide. 

Sprains, fractures, contusions and concussions top the list of sports- related ER diagnoses for kids 6 to 19-years-old. Girls had a higher percentage of concussions than boys. 

"We’ve changed from just wearing the cute skirts and standing on the sideline and cheering," said Jonesboro High School cheerleading coach, Stephanie Cockrill.

"The injuries that we see most often with cheerleading would be wrist injuries, ankle injuries," Cockrill said. "I will say 80 percent of all injuries that happen in cheerleading happen at practice.

She said the coaches take various precautions to make sure the girls are safe.

"We make sure that all of our wrists are either braced or wrapped," Cockrill said. "We don’t move to another skill level until we have mastered the beginning skill level or the skill that they’re participating in right now."

Cheerleading had the third highest concussion rate. Football and wrestling were listed in the top two sports. 

"Another time we see injuries is when the girls are not fresh," she said. "The girls get a chance to rest then they perform, a chance to rest and a chance to perform."

Cockrill says sometimes it is out of the coach’s control.

"We take every safety precaution that we possibly can, but accidents are going to happen," she said.

Although there was a severe injury in the past, Cockrill says they have been lucky over the past 3 years she has been the coach.

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