Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are serious and life transforming incidents. A brain injury can lead to brain damage or death. Some life threatening injuries, even though they do not end in death, may result in disabilities that inhibit the sufferer from performing the minimal tasks required for life sustaining functions.
Researchers have determined that certain sports activities are a major culprit when it comes to causing head injuries. Brain injuries are usually thought to occur mainly with such sports as football, soccer, boxing, rugby, skiing, etc., and any other contact sport. Surprisingly, however, equestrian sports have been found time and again to be one of the highest at risk sports for serious head injuries.
Contact sports brain injuries have recently been in the news as a result of professional football players suffering from repeated game related concussions. While the focus has been on football, soccer and boxing brain injuries such as the neurodegenerative disease also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), there is another sport that is garnering less attention in this area but may be, in fact, the biggest contributor of sports connected brain injuries. There are under reported instance of brain injuries that tells us that football, soccer and boxing are not the biggest culprits, after all.
A study released by the Journal of Neurosurgery indicates that horseback riding causes more brain injuries than in any other sport. In fact, statistics indicated that 45.2 percent of sport head injuries in adults are attributable to horseback riding, making it the leading contributor to brain injury, than any other. The second largest contributor to TBI is contact sports, i.e., football, etc., and the like, at 20.2 percent. For more information, please see ABC News.
Equestrian Sports Leading to Death and Injuries
In 1999 there were approximately 15,000 horseback riding head injuries to children 15 years of age and under. Annually, there are about 60 percent of equestrian brain injury deaths and 18 percent of equestrian injuries leading to disabilities. Falling from a horse or being thrown, or being kicked or trodden makes for a large portion of these injuries.
Statistics show that women are more likely to be injured by a horse than men and the average age for equestrian injuries is between 10 and 19.
Safety Tips When Riding
To protect yourself and your loved ones from injury when riding, always wear a helmet that meets ASTM standards, and boots that cover your ankles. Children under six years of age should be supervised at all times when riding, and they should never be tied to their horse or saddle. These basic safety tips and more can be found in the Horse&Rider.
Sports injuries and accidents leading to brain damage are serious health matters. The most prevalent sports activity that has been known to cause head injuries and possibly death is horseback riding. It is important that measures be taken to insure the safety of those participating in this sport. However, accidents will happen, and when they do, care must be taken to make sure that the sufferer receives medical treatment and rehabilitation quickly, in order to insure that the sufferer regains some measure of mental and physical agility.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, and you need to consult with an attorney experienced in this area, please call the law offices of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.