Texas Living

Ensuring Your Cheerleader Bounces Back from Injury

By Dustin Bass 9.22.15

The start of the school year brings a ton of cheer into the air. But all that cheering isn’t without risk. 

More than 65 percent of catastrophic injuries involving high school females are cheerleading-related, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In fact, cheerleading is second only behind football for most catastrophic injuries.

So how do you keep your cheerleader safe?

Train Right

  • Focus on strength. Cheerleading injuries most commonly involve the wrists, shoulders, ankles, head, and neck. Lifting weights or using bands to build resistance helps strengthen muscles in the legs, back, abdomen, and arms, and can help alleviate the stress caused by falls or trips, as well as during tumbles.
  • Work on flexibility. Cross-training with yoga, pilates, or other exercises that stretch muscles can help prevent injuries.
  • Let injuries heal completely. Most athletes hate being sidelined and try to stay active. This will only increase the damage to the injured area. Cheerleaders, like all athletes, should be cleared by a medical professional before returning to the squad.

Get Coverage

Darrell Allen, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Dallas County, says although the school or organization may offer a secondary policy for injuries sustained through cheering, the family’s health insurance is the first line of protection.

Parents who haven’t signed up for the secondary policy may want to add it to their child’s protection plan. “These are typically inexpensive and may cover the deductible and copays required by the primary coverage,” Allen says.

He also adds that better protecting the cheerleader in the family will help mitigate the high cost of medical care and the financial strain injuries can have on a family.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance