The doctors' group says 26,000 cheerleaders get hurt in the U.S. each year, and because of the complex routines, the injuries can often be severe, or catastrophic.
AAP is out with new guidelines to make cheerleading safer. The doctors say cheerleading should be designated as a sport in all states -- a move that would ensure cheerleaders certain safety measures.
The Academy is calling for cheerleading programs to have qualified coaches and better access to medical care. It also wants to limit pyramids to no more than two people high.
The overall injury rate in high school cheerleading is lower than other girls sports like soccer and gymnastics, but the rate of catastrophic injuries like skull fractures and spinal injuries is higher.