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J Pediatr Surg. 2009 Jan;44(1):148-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.10.025.

Equestrian injuries in children.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32608, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Equestrian activities are regarded by some as high-risk sports, and our recent experience suggested this to be true. We undertook this study to review our experience with pediatric equestrian injuries.

METHODS:

After institutional review board approval, we reviewed emergency department and hospital admissions for children 0 to 18 years, with equestrian trauma, over an 11-year period.

RESULTS:

There were 164 encounters with 135 girls and 29 boys. Most injuries (82%) occurred after falling or being thrown from the animal, and only 12% occurred during jumping or rodeo competitions. The remaining injuries were secondary to being trampled, kicked, or trapped under the animal. Eighty-seven children required hospital admission. Lacerations and contusions (58%) or orthopedic injuries (31%) were most common in the emergency department cohort. In the admission cohort, injury sites included orthopedic (34%), head (23%), abdomen (21%), and chest (11%). Multiple injuries occurred in 13%. A significant number of children required surgical interventions, including 19 orthopedic procedures, 4 laparotomies, 3 facial reconstructions, and 2 craniotomies. The average length of stay was nearly 4 days, with 60% of the children requiring intensive care admission. There were no deaths. One child was discharged to rehab, the rest were sent home.

CONCLUSIONS:

In our experience, more than one third of the children admitted after sustaining injuries in horse-related sports required surgical interventions. Children participating in equestrian activities are at risk for substantial injury, and pediatric care providers must maintain a high index of suspicion when evaluating these children.

PMID:
19159733
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.10.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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