Aim—To determine the demographics of hospital admissions and mortality associated with equestrian activities in the 33 000 riders in British Columbia (BC).
Method—Analysis of admission data from the Ministry of Health for the years 1991–96, review of information obtained from the Office of the Chief Coroner, and comparison of data from Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program.
Results—The mean number of admissions per year was 390. Head injury was the most common cause of admission to hospital (20%) in BC. Females most often required admission (62%). Teenagers and children have a higher incidence of head injuries than the general population. The injury rate was 0.49/1000 hours of riding. There were three deaths per year, 1/10 000 riders; 60% were caused by head injury and females predominated.
Conclusion—Head injuries and other serious injuries occur with equestrian activities and it is important for doctors, instructors, and parents to promote the use of appropriate safety equipment, including helmets, especially for children.
- equestrian injuries
- horse riding
- hospital admissions
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