JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Cheerleadinghas evolved over the years from shaking pom-poms at the crowd to full outcompetition.
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’vechanged from just wearing the cute skirts and standing on the sideline andcheering," said Jonesboro High School cheerleading coach, Stephanie Cockrill.
"Theinjuries that we see most often with cheerleading would be wrist injuries,ankle injuries," Cockrill said. "I will say80 percent of all injuries that happen in cheerleading happen at practice.
She said the coaches take variousprecautions to make sure the girls are safe."We makesure that all of our wrists are either braced or wrapped," Cockrill said. "We don’t move to another skill level until wehave mastered the beginning skill level or the skill that they’re participatingin right now."
Cheerleading had the thirdhighest concussion rate. Football and wrestling were listed in the top two sports."Anothertime we see injuries is when the girls are not fresh," she said. "The girls get a chance to rest then theyperform, a chance to rest and a chance to perform."
Cockrill sayssometimes it is out of the coach’s control."We take every safety precaution that wepossibly can, but accidents are going to happen," she said.
Although therewas a severe injury in the past, Cockrill says they have been lucky over thepast 3 years she has been the coach.