Send to

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

Equestrian injuries in children.

Author information

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



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center