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Concussions More Common Among UGA Cheerleaders Than Football Players

Concussions are a form of brain injury typically associated with athletes such as football players and boxers. Recent data from the University of Georgia, however, has left many people in the sporting and medical communities surprised — at UGA, the school’s cheerleaders experience concussions at a higher rate than the football players do.  As cheerleading has become a more intense and competitive sport, throws and other maneuvers have become riskier.

Surprising head injury statistics

In 2012, eight of the university’s 52 cheerleaders (15.4 percent) suffered head injuries. The same year, nine of the school’s 125 football players (7.2 percent) suffered similar injuries. This means that the rate of concussion injury for cheerleaders was more than double the rate for football players. While the sample sizes of both squads are relatively small, the numbers do raise questions for schools and universities across the country.

Recently, the NFL and other football organizations have been intensely scrutinized by the public, the media, the government and even Hollywood for their role in ignoring the dangers of head injuries. Recent studies, however, have shown that concussions are the most common injury suffered by high school cheerleaders. While football players often collide violently, they typically wear helmets and other protective equipment. Cheerleaders, on the other hand, rarely employ any type of protective equipment to protect their heads during falls or collisions.

Concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can leave athletes sidelined for long periods of time. Once someone has received an initial blow to the head, further head injuries can be debilitating or fatal, even if the impact is less severe. As more is learned about these injuries, schools and athletic departments will be expected to do more to prevent them from occurring.

If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury due to the negligent supervision or training of a coach or athletic department, speak with an experienced Atlanta attorney at McMenamy Law LLC to learn about your rights under the law.