Back in the 1800s, when cheerleaders first appeared on a field, their main goal was to get fans to root for their team, either by yelling chants, clapping or using pom-poms.
But that's all changed. Now being a cheerleader is more demanding because many of these young men and women perform gymnastic stunts that are not only breathtaking but also dangerous.
Because of these dangers, the American Academy of Pediatrics has published a new policy statement, entitled “Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention,” with a list of recommendations on how to keep cheerleaders trauma-free.
These days, cheerleaders are a lot like acrobats. And there's been some debate over whether cheerleading is a sport. Some cheerleading organizations say it does not meet criteria necessary to be considered a sport. But the AAP says it should be treated like one, because like other athletes, cheerleaders can sustain serious injuries.
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