Sports

Pediatricians Call for More Cheerleading Regulations

Rent-seeking effort to require things like pre-season physicals

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Following its evolution into an activity that often requires difficult acrobatics and tumbling, it's time for cheerleading to gain acceptance as an official sport, with all the safety precautions that go along with that designation, according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Over the past 3 decades, the complexity and popularity of cheerleading have increased, leading to an uptick in both the number and severity of injuries, according to Cynthia LaBella, MD, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Northwestern University in Chicago.