Pediatric Cheerleading Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments in the United States

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This study investigates the epidemiology of cheerleading injuries to children in the United States. Data were analyzed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children 5 through 18 years of age treated in US emergency departments for cheerleading injuries from 1990 through 2012. An estimated 497 095 children ages 5 to 18 years were treated in US emergency departments for a cheerleading injury during the 23-year study period, averaging 21 613 injured children per year. From 1990 to 2012, the annual cheerleading injury rate increased significantly by 189.1%; and from 2001 to 2012, the annual rate of cheerleading-related concussion/closed head injury increased significantly by 290.9%. Falls were the most common mechanism of injury (29.4%) and were more likely to lead to hospitalization (relative risk = 2.47; 95% confidence interval = 1.67-3.68) compared with other injury mechanisms. The rising number and rate of pediatric cheerleading injuries underscore the need for increased efforts to prevent these injuries.

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