A legislative study on Tuesday showed that highly preventable time-loss sports injuries could be prevented with better school athletic policies in place.
Audio of the study can be heard here.
Time-loss injuries, which are ones that keep athletes from practicing, are reaching as many as 25,000 in Oklahoma annually, University of Tulsa Clinical Assistant Professor of Athletic Training Ron Walker estimated.
Walker also told the Oklahoma House of Representatives Insurance Committee that 62 percent of injuries take place during practice.
But the biggest concern falls to the rural schools, where they often lack athletic trainers.
“What I took away from the study was that it is in rural Oklahoma where we have t he greatest challenge,” Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, said in a release. “We talked about the need for and use of athletic trainers in high schools and many of the larger school districts have athletic trainers.
“What we need is solutions for smaller school districts in the form of shared athletic trainers or at least policies in place to help guide the athletic programs in addressing sports injuries.”
Kirby also said athletic trainers were employed in nearly 65 percent of schools across the nation, but only 20 percent in Oklahoma.