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Cheerleaders at risk for suffering brain injuries

Louisiana cheerleaders are reportedly at risk for serious brain injuries. As cheerleading has evolved throughout the last decade, competitive cheerleaders are being pushed to do more dangerous stunts, tumbling passes and dance motions. In 2013, cheerleading injuries reportedly caused more than half of all major injuries among female athletes.

For cheer stunts, one person, called a flyer, often stands on the hands of one or two bases. In some cases, these stunts can top more than 8 feet off the ground. If flyers fall and the bases fail to catch them, they could potentially suffer a serious neck or back injury. Similarly, tumblers can fall on their heads or ankles if they fail to rotate properly when flipping. In general, athletes are most at risk when learning new stunts.

About 36 percent of cheerleading-related injuries occur to the head. Damage to the brain that results from a concussion can last years, even if the temporary symptoms quickly disappear. Concussions can cause athletes to have problems paying attention in school and may even create problems with motor skills. Female athletes who suffered injuries were also more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who did not suffer a concussion.

Brain injuries can cause a person to suffer symptoms that include behavioral problems, paralysis and spinal cord injuries. If they are serious enough, the injured person may be unable to work and may experience a loss of enjoyment of life. In cases where the injuries were the result of an accident that was caused by another person's negligence, an attorney may help the victim seek compensation to recover medical costs and other damages that were incurred.

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