Yes! Between 1982 and 2009 these were exactly the statistics gathered in a statement on cheerleading that was recently issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The nature of cheerleading has evolved over the years from leading the crowd in cheers at sporting events into a competitive, year-round sport involving complex acrobatic stunts and tumbling. Consequently, cheerleading injuries have steadily increased in both number and severity. Over the past 30 years, cheerleading injuries have increased over 400%.
Girls make up 96% of an estimated 3.6 million cheerleaders over the age of six in the U.S. In high school alone, there were 400,000 cheerleaders in 2009.
In the realm of high school athletics, cheerleading accounts for less than 1 injury per 1,000 “athletic exposures” in girls, according to the AAP. That’s far less than the 8.5 injuries per 1,000 exposures for gymnastics or the 5.3 per 1,000 exposures for soccer.
However, research has shown that cheerleaders are at a disproportionately high risk for catastrophic injuries, which include skull fractures and spine injuries.