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The New York Post
September 14, 2013 Saturday
Sports+Late City Final; Pg. 12
202 words
Warn on cheerlead head hits
Andy Soltis

Football players aren't the only jocks with a concussion problem.

Cheerleading is by far the most dangerous role for female athletes, yet girls who suffer concussions often don't recognize that they're injured, a new study found.

The study of junior and senior high-school cheerleaders found that 37 percent had symptoms of concussions but failed to report them.

The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, noted a sharp increase of hospital emergency visits by cheerleaders, from 4,954 in 1980 to 26,786 in 2007.

The study noted that cheerleading accounts for 66 percent of catastrophic sports injuries - the kind that shorten lives or result in permanent disability or long-term medical conditions - among girls.

Some 6 percent of all cheerleaders' injuries are concussions, which are defined as "traumatically induced alterations in mental status" caused by damage to the head.

Cheerleaders are frequently allowed to return to the game after an injury, because doctors rely on them to evaluate themselves.

But - since girls often don't appreciate the severity their injuries or just want to get back to the game - they should be given neurocognitive testing, researchers concluded.

September 16, 2013

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