Still little reporting for sports injuries as football player is hurt

West Ridge Middle School football (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)
West Ridge Middle School football (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 14 year old is recovering Monday night after he was injured during football practiceEanes ISD tells us the West Ride Middle School student was conscious when STAR flight transported him.

It highlights a risk we’ve shown you before. We revisited a trauma doctor concerned that no one is keeping track of how many children are getting hurt.

An hour after an eighth grader was injured on the football field, everything was back to normal. Just down the street at Westlake High School, where kids were also playing –  a testament that this is the game of Texas, even on a Tuesday night. There’s no requirement to report injuries and according to the UIL’s website, Eanes ISD is not a district that voluntarily reports them.

“I’m one of the guys who sees people when they’re flown in or brought in for some kind of injury,” said Dr. Jayson Aydelotte. Two years ago, he treated a high school football patient for trauma at University Medical Center Brackenridge.

He looked into it and says 80 percent of Texas schools don’t report, not just football injuries but any sporting injuries because they aren’t required to. Every other state minus Hawaii doesn’t keep track either. “The scary part isn’t necessarily they don’t know how often it’s happening. That’s for guys like me to know. The scary part is if you don’t know how often it’s happening then you don’t know what it’s associated with,” said Dr. Aydelotte.

So he’s trying to get around $100,000 in funding to keep count and determine if weather, field conditions, equipment, actually makes the sport safer. But you don’t know the solution until you understand the problem.

Dr. Aydelotte says his hospital, the University of Texas and the UIL have a plan ready but they’re still looking for grants and cooperation with the State of Texas and more school districts.

Right now, UIL only collects information from 234 schools across Texas, but the records give us an idea about the types of injuries we see on the field. Those reports from 2015 show the top three injuries include sprains, bruising and concussions.

Most players hurt their knees and ankles but 355 students had head injuries. Some were hurt in the shoulders, hands and arms. But out of more than 1,800 injuries recorded, only four percent were sent to the hospital and just six percent needed surgery.

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