The potential for brain injury on selected surfaces used by cheerleaders.
“CONTEXT: Although playground surfaces have been investigated for fall impact attenuation, the surfaces that cheerleaders use have received little attention. OBJECTIVE: To determine (1) the critical height for selected surfaces used by cheerleaders at or below which a serious head impact injury from a fall is unlikely to occur, (2) the critical heights for non-impact-absorbing surfaces for comparison purposes, and (3) the effect of soil moisture and grass height on g(max) (which is defined as the multiple of g [acceleration due to gravity at the earth's surface at sea level: ie, 32.2 feet x s(-1) x s(-1)] that represents the maximum deceleration experienced during an impact) and the Head Injury Criterion (HIC) at the critical height for a dry grass surface. DESIGN: Observational study. SETTINGS: A local cheerleading gym, indoor locations within the authors’ institution, and various outdoor locations… …RESULTS: Critical heights for the surfaces tested ranged from 0.5 ft (0.15 m) for concrete and vinyl tile installed over concrete to more than 11 ft (3.35 m) for a spring floor… …CONCLUSIONS: The potential for serious head impact injuries can be minimized by increasing the shock-absorbing capacity of the surface, decreasing the height from which the person falls, or both.”
Thanks to Vanessa for today’s ROFL!