At the New Kent Gymnastics Center, coaches and gym owners aren't taking any safety risks when it comes to their cheerleaders. Helmets are now on the list of required cheer practice wear for the gym's All Star squad, Virginia Gems. Before any stunting, all team members must strap on an athletic helmet.

Reported by ABC local news, gym owner Carissa Baldwin said, "It's a multi-sport helmet so it's used for flag football, rugby, lacrosse. It wouldn't be something they compete in or wear maybe later in the season, but in that first learning phase where it's brand new that's where we've found the most success."

Carissa adds that, since many other sports use helmets, it shouldn't seem to strange for cheerleaders to also use them, at least in practice.

So far, Carissa, the coach, and team members have witnessed the helmets prevent a number of potential head injuries. This is key, since a recent report revealed that concussions make up 6% of all cheer injuries. Over the past few years, numerous studies have shared the scary injury reports of cheer-related injuries.

From what we can tell, the helmets don't appear bulky and don't seem to get in the way of the cheerleaders' movement. However, we do wonder if they hinder eye sight at all or if they are heavy to wear. Depending on these issues, these helmets could potentially affect a cheerleader's performance when she's not wearing the helmet, as she won't be used to it.

Check out the news coverage below to see the helmets in action. Don't forget to tell us what you think about this. Are these helmets a great addition for new squads? Do you think they will prevent many injuries? Or, do you think this is too extreme of a safety measure? Comment below with your thoughts!

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