(KFDX/KJTL) — High school teams are starting to hit the field for their first games of the season. Beyond the hits, some state officials want to know how many suffer concussions.
Starting this school year, every large public high school in Texas is required to keep track of head injuries, not just in football, but in every sport.
At the practice field at Rockwall High, parent Mark Henry watches from the sidelines, familiar with the risks his son faces on the field.
“Sophomore year at the playoff in Sachse, he took a pretty hard hit with a knee in the head and he never blacked out. But he didn’t even know where he was at,” says Henry.
That was two years ago.
And if it happens again this year, the state of Texas wants to know.
The UIL has partnered with ut Southwestern Medical Center to keep to maintain a database of concussions among student-athletes at 6A schools in Texas.
Neuropsychologist, Dr. Munro Cullom says, “right now we don’t know how often concussions are occurring across the country in most high school and middle school situations. The statistics provided by the CDC really mainly deal with kids reporting to emergency departments across the country and we believe this is quite an underestimate of how many concussions are actually occurring.”
And the registry will follow more than just football players. It covers 15 to 20 sports- cheerleading, swimming, even golf. Boys and girls.
Other states have also implemented similar registries, but this one stands to be the largest in the country.
“Over time we want to be able to look at trends in concussion as there are rule changes, safety procedures implemented, you know everyone wants to make sports safer and that’s clearly something we want to help with,” says Cullom.
It’s research mark supports.
“I would still do football. I think as long as you monitor them and do the right things. If he gets another one then yeah it might be a different story. You know after two I don’t think I’d let him play football,” says Henry.
To address privacy concerns, officials say the database will contain no information that could identify the injured athlete.