University of Vermont AAHS

AMEA

December 1999, Vol. X, Number 4

 Table of Contents

 

New York's Riding Helmet Bill
President's Address
AMEA Annual Meeting Minutes, November 6
Letter to Editor
The Developing Pediatric Equestrian Athlete
United States Pony Club's 1998 Accident Study
Questions and Answers
NEISS Horse-Related Injuries: Preliminary Figures for 1998


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NEW YORK'S RIDING HELMET BILL

Safety advocates of all kinds are only too aware that prevention laws and rules are seldom passed unless someone.. or many someones... have died or been seriously injured. The impetus for the 1981 riding helmet standard in the U.S. was eventer Caroline Treviranus' serious head injury. In the case of New York's "use of helmets while horseback riding" bill, the death in 1989 of 23 year old Robyn Czerwinski of Buffalo, whose parents were constituents of Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, was the catalyst.

Miss Czerwinski, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered a fatal fall from a Western saddle on a trail ride. Her parents asked that Schimminger draft legislation to enforce the use of protective headgear at commercial riding stables. His original draft was not unlike the recent Canadian legislation, with a number of provisions including one which would have required anyone owning one or more horses to maintain a million dollars of liability insurance. This came at a time when the New York State Horse Council was first attempting to find sponsors for limited liability legislation for horse activities. The Horse Council president and the Chairman of the Safety Committee visited Mr. Schimminger, asking him to consider modifying his proposals more in line with what other states were just beginning to pass. Although he gave this small delegation a thorough and amiable hearing, his decision was to keep to his original plan. A State Senator from a nearby county worked with the Council on their preferred bill, which has been lost in various legislative committees, resubmitted by different legislators, passed by the Senate twice, and banished by the Assembly back to committee during the past two years. During all this time the Western Region Chapter of the Horse Council, with members in his district, continued to ask Mr. Schimminger for his support.

In February of 1998, Schimminger submitted 9176A, which required the use of bicycle helmets for all horseback riders under the age of sixteen and for "beginner" and young riders in commercial stables and on trail rides. This bill was patterned on existing Vehicle and Traffic Laws which require helmets for young bicyclists, in-line skaters, and skateboarders. George King, Chair of the Council's Legislation Committee contacted Schimminger's office and offered the organization's advice and support, since the Council has a long-standing rule requiring the use of ASTM/SEI helmets in its sponsored activities. Copies of medical studies which promote the use of properly secured certified riding helmets were provided to the assemblymen, as were copies of the video "Every Time, Every Ride" for the house committees considering the bill.

After conferring with the Council, the bill was promptly modified to the form which is printed at the end of this article. A senate mirror bill was sponsored and also filed.

Sadly, the bill was referred to the Transportation Committee and died there. However, the Assemblyman was not ready to give up. He and Senator Larkin pre-filed the same bills, now A355 and S1583, on the 6th of January, 1999. The required age was changed to 14 and under, bringing it in line with the existing bicycle helmet law.

It passed the Assembly on May 5, 1999, with a vote of 145-0. The Senate passed it on June 14, 1999, also unanimously. Governor Pataki signed it into law, Section 1265 of New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law, on October 6, 1999, with an effective date of January 6, 2000. The General Business law was also amended (new section 296-dd) to provide that "every (rental) horse provider shall provide protective helmets to beginning riders and to riders less than fourteen years of age at no cost beyond the rental fee; offer all riders the use of such protective helmets regardless of their age or experience; and provide appropriate helmet safety information to all riders." If a rider over the age of fourteen chooses not to wear a helmet, a waiver indicating their choice shall be signed by the rider.

Incidentally, the American Medical Equestrian Association was quoted in the justification for the bills, which concluded that "Wearing a helmet is a painless and inexpensive way to save lives."

The New York press has commented on this legislation in its weekly summaries of new laws, but the only part of it mentioned was the General Business Law section. The Horse Council is planning publicity in its newsletter, on its web site, and to the press to explain all the provisions. Copies of the law have been sent to the American Horse Shows Association, along with a proposed rules change which would remove the discrepancy between AHSA rules, which only recommend ASTM/SET helmets, but do not require their use for any rider of any age. At this point it is unknown if this law could be enforced at AHSA sanctioned shows in New York for riders fourteen and under. New York's 4H and Pony Clubs have required ASTM/SFI helmets for their members since 1990.

As of this writing, a Pennsylvania legislator is considering incorporating the New York helmet language into his Limited Liability bill, which has as long a history as New York's. Pennsylvania, like New York, is one of the six U.S. states without this type of protection for horse activity sponsors. New York will also try again in 2000.

Will these bills be enforced ? That will remain to be seen. Police officers in the writer's county reward bicycle helmet wearers with certificates for fast food, and try to present these when non-helmeted riders are looking on. But they ticket parents of non-wearers only after injury accidents, with rare exceptions

In spite of this, helmet use for young bicyclists has improved noticeably throughout New York since that law was passed, and head injuries to bicyclists appear to be decreasing.

Perhaps the greatest irony of this saga is that we will never know if Robyn Czerwinski would have worn an offered helmet after listening to helmet safety information, had the law been in effect in 1989. At 23, she would have had the right to sign the waiver and refuse a helmet. But thanks to the other Robin, Assemblyman Schimminger, and the Horse Council; whose members lobbied for his bill, future Robyns will be given a choice.

Dru Malavase
Chair, NYSHC Safety Committee
2270 County Road 39 RD 2
Bloomfield, NY 14469

 

Text of New York State Bill A00355

STATE OF NEW YORK
1999-2000 Regular Sessions
January 6, 1999

Introduced by M. of A. SCHIMMINGER, ORTIZ -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. GOTTFRIED, HILL, HOYT, WRIGHT

AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the general business law, in relation to the use of helmets while horseback riding

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 1265 to read as follows:

S 1265. WEARING OF HELMETS.

NO PERSON LESS THAN FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE SHALL RIDE A HORSE UNLESS SUCH PERSON IS WEARING A HELMET MEETING OR EXCEEDING ASTM F1163 (SAFETY EQUIPMENT INSTITUTE CERTIFIED) EQUESTRIAN STANDARD. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, CERTIFIED SHALL MEAN THAT THE HELMET'S MANUFACTURER AGREES TO THE RULES AND PROVISIONS OF A SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES INDEPENDENT TESTING AND QUALITY CONTROL AUDITS, AND THAT EACH HELMET MANUFACTURED BY SUCH MANUFACTURER IS PERMANENTLY MARKED WITH THE CERTIFYING BODY'S REGISTERED MARK OR LOGO BEFORE SUCH HELMET IS SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, WEARING A HELMET MEANS HAVING A HELMET FASTENED SECURELY UPON THE HEAD USING THE MANUFACTURER'S FITTING GUIDELINES FOR THE PARTICULAR MODEL USED.

2. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL PAY A CIVIL FINE NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY DOLLARS. A POLICE OFFICER SHALL ONLY ISSUE A SUMMONS FOR A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION BY A PERSON LESS THAN FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE TO THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF SUCH PERSON IF THE VIOLATION BY SUCH PERSON OCCURS IN THE PRESENCE OF SUCH PERSONS PARENT OR GUARDIAN AND WHERE SUCH PARENT OR GUARDIAN IS EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR MORE. SUCH SUMMONS SHALL ONLY BE ISSUED TO SUCH PARENT OR GUARDIAN, AND SHALL NOT BE ISSUED TO THE PERSON LESS THAN FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE.

3. (A) THE COURT SHALL WAIVE ANY CIVIL FINE FOR WHICH A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION WOULD BE LIABLE IF SUCH PERSON SUPPLIES THE COURT WITH PROOF THAT BETWEEN THE DATE OF VIOLATION AND THE APPEARANCE DATE FOR SUCH VIOLATION SUCH PERSON PURCHASED OR RENTED A HELMET.

(B) THE COURT MAY WAIVE ANY CIVIL FINE FOR WHICH A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THE SECTION WOULD BE LIABLE IF THE COURT FINDS THAT DUE TO REASONS OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP SUCH PERSON WAS UNABLE TO PURCHASE A HELMET. THE FAILURE OF ANY PERSON TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OR ASSUMPTION OF RISK, AND SHALL NOT IN ANY WAY BAR, PRECLUDE OR FORECLOSE AN ACTION FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH BY OR ON BEHALF OF SUCH PERSON, NOR IN ANY WAY DIMINISH OR REDUCE THE DAMAGES RECOVERABLE IN ANY SUCH ACTION.

S 396-DD. RENTING OF HORSES; HELMETS AND SAFETY INFORMATION.

1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:

A. "HORSE'1 INCLUDES A HORSE, PONY, MULE OR HINNY.

B. "HORSE PROVIDER" INCLUDES ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY HIRING OR RENTING OUT HORSES FOR RIDING OR PROVIDING TRAINING IN THE RIDING OF HORSES FOR CONSIDERATION.

2. EVERY HORSE PROVIDER SHALL PROVIDE PROTECTIVE HELMETS TO BEGINNING RIDERS AND TO RIDERS LESS THAN FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE AT NO COST BEYOND THE RENTAL FEE; OFFER ALL RIDERS THE USE OF SUCH PROTECTIVE HELMETS REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE OR EXPERIENCE; AND PROVIDE APPROPRIATE HELMET SAFETY INFORMATION TO ALL RIDERS.

3. SUCH HELMETS SHALL COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION TWELVE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW.

4. A KNOWING VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY DOLLARS FOR EACH SUCH VIOLATION.

This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall it shall have become a law.

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PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS

 

The 1999 American Medical Equestrian Association annual meeting was an excellent conference and marks a transition for the AMEA. We are developing a strategic partnership with the Certified Horsemanship Association which will give us a administrative and delivery system that we have not had. We are in discussions with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) so we can be assured that the AMEA remains a medical organization and continues its emphasis on medical study and research of the equestrian activities. The AMEA will continue to offer CME for our programs.

Vancouver was an ideal location with the city providing interest for the visitor. Janet Sorli, MD, coordinator for the annual meeting, did a wonderful job of pulling the meeting topics, speakers and details together. I like the blend of education and discussions with people interested in horses and safety in the equestrian sports.

The Board of Directors has delegated areas of leadership for the AMEA membership in the areas of medical and equestrian literature review, education and communication through contacts and the AMEA NEWS. Doris Bixby Hammett has been the heart and soul of the AMEA. Because of personal reasons, she now needs to step aside.

The CHA has 4000 members with a similar mission to the AMEA. The alliance therefore will provide benefits to both organizations: the AMEA in widening its contacts to members of the horse community who have identified themselves as concerned for safety and accident prevention and the CHA in using the resources of the AMEA in scientific research, evaluation and recommendations for increased safety in the equestrian activities.

I encourage all AMEA and CHA members to educate those with whom they have contact, promote safety in daily contacts and provide leadership by becoming the decision makers for their organizations. The horse industry has made great strides for safety, but the task has just begun. We each must share our knowledge. Much more work is needed before we reach our goal of using knowledge that we now have for accident prevention and reduction of severity of injury in an accident.

William Lee, MD
President, AMEA

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AMERICAN MEDICAL EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING

November 6, 1999

The minutes of the 1998 annual meeting were distributed by the secretary and duly approved. The financial report was presented as prepared by Michael Nolan. January 1999 to November 1, 1999, the total income was $10,151.47 which included memberships at $6,875.00 and the donation from the North American Horsemanship Association. Expenses were $6,987.29 which included program expenses of $2,055.94, printing $1,616.53, and postage $1,164.88 with a net income of $3,164.18.

Old Business: The nominating committee presented Drs. Robert Faulkner, George Koepke and Tim Nice for the Board of Directors. Each was elected to the board. The nominations of William Lee, MD, President, Janet Sorli, MD, Vice President, Kristina Bulas, Secretary, Maureane Hoffman, Treasurer were presented. There being no additional nominations, the nominees were accepted by acclimation.

New business discussed a Strategic Alliance with the Certified Horsemanship Association which after study and evaluation was recommended by the Board of Directors.

Dr. Robert Wilson moved and Dr. Maureane Hoffman seconded that the American Medical Equestrian Association enter into discussions with the Certified Horsemanship Association concerning an alliance for the year 2000. Motion passed.

The Board of Directors was directed to proceed in the development of the steps to be taken and other details to be considered in this relationship.

Dr. Robert Wilson moved that the American Medical Equestrian Association expresses its appreciation for critical funding provided by the North American Horsemanship Association permitting the AMEA to perform studies of equestrian activities, procedures, rules, regulations, and behavior to document information needed for recommendations to increase safety. Motion seconded and passed.

Dr. Doris Hammett moved that the American Medical Equestrian Association commend Plantation, Florida, Aurora, Ontario, and New York State for their concern for equestrian safety and accident prevention in horseback riding by mandating protective headgear. Motion seconded and passed. The secretary was instructed to write the letters.

Dr. Robert Wilson moved that the American Medical Equestrian Association expresses its sincere thank you to Michael Nolan for his leadership for the AMEA during the past two years, his continuing concern for safety and accident prevention and his supporting input and assistance to the AMEA. Motion seconded and passed. The secretary was instructed to write Mr. Nolan.

Dr. Janet Sorli moved that the American Medical Equestrian Association commends Julie Ballard, MD, member of the AMEA Board of Directors, Chairman of the Safety Committee, United States Combined Training Association, and the members of the USCTA Safety Committee for their leadership in preparing a Safety Officers Manual for the USCTA and the horse industry. Motion seconded and passed. The secretary was instructed to write Dr. Ballard.

Dr. Robert Wilson moved that the American Medical Equestrian Association recognize Janet Sorli, MD, coordinator of the 1999 Annual Meeting for selecting meaningful topics for the program, choosing outstanding speakers, arranging excellent accommodations and her distinguished planning and coordination of the AMEA annual meeting for 1999. Motion seconded and passed. The secretary was instructed to write Dr. Sorli.

The plans for the annual meeting in 2000 will be coordinated with the Certified Horsemanship Association.

Motion for adjournment was made, seconded and passed.

Doris Bixby Hammett, MD,
Secretary, American Medical Equestrian Association

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Regarding your September article by Janet Sorli, MD, and race course injuries, Dr. Sorli's statement that "the Thoroughbred race horse is young and untrained for other activities than all out speed", is gross miss-representation

Thoroughbred horse racing is the top of the equine pyramid due to its position as the largest horse-related money-game commodity available today. While the industry has its problems, the development of the Thoroughbred for racing purpose is labor intensive. From the very beginning and it is about 900 days after a Thoroughbreds birth that a race is even available for one to enter. Any elementary educational stages skipped will make the horse come apart later and deter its' progress toward winning money racing Most Thoroughbreds have a halter placed on their heads within the hour that they are born are taught to lead with butt ropes within 3 to 6 hours of their birth and turned out with their dams. In addition to foal imprinting and additional ancillary handling, by the time they are two months old they are like little soldiers and made very trainable.

Most of these horse can leave Thoroughbred race training at any time and be cross-trained into another sport like jumping in a short period of time. The basics are the very same. Most are not asked for any speed, like a 15-second furlong, until sometime during their two-year old year, depending whether they are being pointed toward a spring sale summer or fall racing. Horses that develop past performances racing all evolve with different mental attitudes because of their basic personalities. Some become steam locomotives needing two handlers, a lip chain and a pony; others stay placid and calm and appear unaffected by all the stress. They are all individuals and are influenced by the hands they get into and the injuries that they develop.

Some horses overcome terrible lifetime adversities like illnesses and injuries, and defy all the human mistakes, and still become racing Champions. This is because of management's desire to support the ability they believe the individual athlete is capable of performing. The best need no pony to take them to the starting gate, like the great Alydar, an example of the result of thorough training, time and patience in the development of athletic achievement. Clearly, further investigation is required because statistical analysis is just a small portion of the entire picture.

Respectfully,

Jill McEwan, B.A.,
Licensed Trainer, Certified Riding Instructor, Accredited Equine Appraiser,
ABA Paralegal, Legal Consultant & Technical Advisor
PO Box 425, Barrington, IL 60011-0425.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Dear AMEA:

I am an Adolescent Health Educator and TeenHealthFX.com Web Site Coordinator at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. On our interactive teen health education web site, we receive questions from adolescents pertaining to many different health issues. Today, I received a question from an adolescent in regards to horseback-riding. The question is "I used to ride horses once a week. I'm afraid of the damage it might be causing my body. I would like to know what kind of effects it will have on my body, if any. And also what are the good affects that it may have."

Being unfamiliar with the sport, I am seeking some information on the topic. Can you help me with this or lead me to someone who can. Thank you.

Cathy McCarthy
TeenliealtliFX corn Web Site
Coordinator Health Educator
(973) 971.6311
maccat@webspan. net

 

Dear Ms. McCarthy,

This is a wonderful chance to mention the benefits of horseback riding. Done properly, horseback riding lessons can improve balance, coordination, manual dexterity, strength, endurance, flexibility, posture, self-confidence, and a sense of teamwork

Unfortunately, improper instruction can lead to back pain, knee pain, or excessive flexibility through the ankles. All of these signs and symptoms are valid causes for her concern. There is also a chance that in learning to ride. the youngster may have been gripping a lot with her inner thighs to stay on the horse. This naturally causes the muscles to get bigger and, unfortunately, the inner thigh isn't really the most flattering place for large, bulky muscles. I hope that this explanation helps you. If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact me

Sincerely,

Johanna L. Harris, MA
Editor/publisher, Equestrian Athletics, Inc.
118 Lower Sand Branch Rd.
Black Mountain, NC 28711

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THE DEVELOPING PEDIATRIC EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE

Johanna L. Harris, MA
Editor/publisher, Equestrian Athletics, Inc.

Everyone who knows Sarah knows that when she was born she wasn't done yet. And if you have ever had the pleasure of watching Sarah try to steer her pony or follow her instructor's directions, you probably suspect what everyone else suspects. Sarah won't be done for a very long time. In fact, it could be another eight years before her mind and body have grown and developed enough for her to listen, think, walk, talk, and ride like an adult.

The mind and body of a child continues to grow and develop from infancy through puberty – bones enlarge, muscles hypertrophy, nerves connect, eyes focus, ears discriminate, receptors receive, memories form, and the brain learns to make sense of it all. As these changes slowly unfold, you may only notice that a child can finally wrap her legs around her pony, spot a gopher hole in a field, or dodge the other ponies in the ring.

Although children grow and develop at different rates, there are distinct patterns. You need to know these patterns so you can squelch your frustrations and modify your instructions when a child like Sarah doesn't seem to know her pony's poll from his croup, nor her left hand from her right. You can see the patterns in the accompanying charts that are directly related to the development of the skills children need to ride. The charts focus on the development of sensory-perceptual and information processing* capabilities, as well as physical fitness.

Once I pulled this information together and funneled it into the charts, the patterns that emerged began to answer a lot of questions. Suddenly, I could see what types of equestrian activities 6 year-olds are capable of and why I wouldn't want an 8 year-old on my polo team. Perhaps I can put more of my thoughts on paper and present them in a future issue.

 II(b) Auditory Development

                                                           DEFINITION            DEVELOPMENT CHANGES        AGE ADULT-LIKE

Sensation:
acuity
Hear sound 6 months, usually well-
developed
Improves through
adolescence (improves
with ability to pay
attention, follow directions)
Perception:
location
Judge location sound is coming from 3 years, localize general direction  
Perception:
differences
Discriminate differences in pitch and loudness 3-5 years, improve ability to recognize differences
6-10 years, improve ability to discriminate pitch
13 years, at least
Perception:
patterns
Remember and recognize relationships, patterns Improves with improvement in memory and information processing  
Perception:
figure-and-ground
Attend to a particular sound and ignore others Some children have more difficulty than others  

 

II(c) Kinesthetic perception development
(Use information from muscle spindles, Golgi tendon organs, Ruffini endings, Pacinian corpuscles, vestibular apparatus and cutaneous receptors)

                                                            DEFINITION           DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGES    AGE ADULT-LIKE        

Tactile localization Identify a spot on the body that was just touched 4 years, less accurate than 6-8 year olds
6-8 years, improvement is limited
5 years, relatively mature on hands and arms
Multiple tactile points Discriminate between 2 points touching the skin in close proximity 5 years, half can't discriminate between touches on different fingers Improves through 7.5 years
Perception of objects Recognize unseen objects and their features by feel 4 years, handle object with purpose
6 years, use of hands to feel object follows a plan
6-8 years, cutaneous memory and object recognition improves, along with speed
 
Body awareness Identify, label major body parts; sense of body's spatial dimensions 3 years, master concept of up/down and front/back
4 years, can usually place an object in front of self or to the side of something
6 years, 66% can label major body parts
9 years, mistakes are rare
Body awareness:
laterality
Understand that the body has two distinct sides 4-5 years, know body has two distinct sides, know each arm and leg and can move independently
4-10 years, improved ability to perform when a limb must cross the body's midline
10 years, most can discriminate left-right; may still have difficulty crossing the midline
Body awareness:
lateral dominance
Preferential use of one limb, hand, foot, or eye Hand preferences seen in infancy
Appears during early childhood
4 years, hand preferences usually stable
Limb movements Perceive the amount of movement at a joint; can reproduce that movement 5-8 years, steady improvement 8 years, little improvement thereafter
Spatial orientation Perceive body's location in space 6-8 years, performance improves
8 years, oldest tested
 
Directionality Project body's spatial dimensions into space; linked to laternality 6-12 years; improvement
8 years, often use body reference to indicate direction; can say the jump is on my left
9 years; can say the jump is to the left of my horse
Improves through 12 years; refinement in adolescence

 

III Fitness Development

                                                                      PEDIATRIC CHARACTERISTICS          GENDER DIFFERENCES

Muscular strength Improves as muscle mass increases with age and training; tolerate more lactic acid, more glycogen stores available
Improves with coordination, skill; fiber recruitment patterns crucial; particularly contracting versus lengthening of muscle fibers
Similar strength until 13 years
Motivation a major factor in testing
Cardiorespiratory endurance Improves with development of muscle mass, glycogen storage
Improves with improved body mechanics, efficiency of muscle firing
Cardiac muscle follows normal growth pattern
Ratio of heart volume to body weight remains constant during growth
Cardiac output is less due to smaller heart; decreased stoke volume
Have lower blood hemoglobin concentrations
Compensate with higher heart rate, higher relative extraction of oxygen, and faster activation of the aerobic system during exercise
Don't respond to training like adults
Maximum oxygen consumption (The maximum amount of oxygen the body can consume in one minute.)
Quite similar until age 12; body size is a better predictor
Boys: Increases linearly from 4 years through adolescence
Girls: increases linearly from 4 years to 12-13 years
Flexibility Reflects normal range of motion in the particular joint
Declines after 10-14 years of age
2nd grades are less flexible than kindergartners
Girls are usually more flexible
Participation in flexibility exercise programs a better predictor

 

IV(c) Information Processing Characteristics

                                                                                     DEFINITION                   PEDIATRIC CHARACTERISTICS

Information processing Computer-like way information moves through perceptual, cognitive steps which end in the decision to move a particular way Less able to identify visual cues and attend to them while ignoring irrelevant cues
Excessively attend to auditory clues before age 12; missing critical visual cues
Attention Develops in a series of three stages, most likely due to age differences in  experience Infants, young children-over-exclusive, attend to only one cue to the exclusion of others
Older children, preadolescents-over-exclusive, attend to too many cues, including irrelevant cues
Over 12 years-selective attention, able to focus on relevant cues amidst irrelevant cues
Schema Set of rules that relates a movement to the parameter values needed to produce that movement Schemas aren't as developed or accurate due to less practice, experience
Benefit most from varies practice conditions
Feedback Information about the outcome or quality of movement; knowledge of results or performance Difficulty identifying relevant cues
Aided by augmented feedback; adult says, you're posting too high
Unable to use too much information
Neuromuscular control Contact muscles in the right pattern, sequence, with the right timing Use more force, muscle groups when balancing
Unable to inhibit opposing muscles very well before contracting prime muscles to produce movement
Improvement seen with learning, practice
Speed of processing How fast information can be moved through the system; increases with maturation 3 years through adolescence, reaction time improves
Attention, memory and response selection are factors
Processes of the CNS may cause slower processing speed

* The information processing concept is defined in chart IV(c).

References

Schmidt, R.A., Lee, T.D. (1999). Motor Control and Learning: A Behavioral Emphasis, 3rd Ed.. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.

Abernathy, B., Kippers, V., Mackinnon, L.T., Neal, R.J., Hanrahan, S. (1997). The Biophysical Foundations of Human Movement. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.

Haywood, K.M. (1993). Life Span Motor Development, 2nd Ed.. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.

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UNITED STATE PONY CLUB'S 1998 ACCIDENT STUDY

 

The United States Pony Clubs through its Safety Committee has studied the accidents and injuries in its activities since 1979. (See AMEA NEWS Nov. 1998, Aug. 1997, May 1997, Feb. 1995, May 1994, Feb 1993) During these years, the report form, accident figures and emphasis on areas of safety have changed within the Pony Club and its activities. This is the report on the latest year, 1998, with comparisons with past years.

The most frequent area of the body injured in 1998 was ankle/foot/toe at 13.9% with head and face occupying the second and third positions at 10.2% for a total of 20.4% to head/face. Comparing the head/face injuries with 1997 (24.6%) and the 15 year study (22.1%), the percent is decreased. This is encouraging, but the fact remains that one fifth of the injuries are to the head/face. The trunk area has a reduced percent of the injuries since the years 82-96 in the 15 year report. This may be due to increased use of chest protectors, but the reports did not ask concerning protective vests.

The type of injury most frequently reported was bruise/abrasion at 38.1%, with closed fracture second at 20.1%, and concussion/unconscious 14.3%, Of those reporting 46.4% did not have sufficient injury to report the type of injury. Only 10.2% of the reported injuries were to the head but one concussion occurred in a fall from the horse in which the child landed on her buttocks. Pony Club personnel have an increased understanding of the symptoms of a mild concussion which may be missed in many studies.

The number of injured receiving medical treatment are decreased to 71 in 1998 from 95 in 1997. The number that required no treatment is increased during 1998 (from 30.1% 1997 to 41.8% 1998). The number requiring physician treatment was 48 in 1998 compared to 55 in 1997.

There were no reported hospital admissions in 1998.

There were no accidents under the age of 8. The number of children with accidents under the age of 9 years was decreased as were the accidents of the 9 to 11 years old. The percent increase as well as the numbers occurred in the ages 12-14 years as well as 18 years and over.

The figures on experience again point out that it is not the child with the least number of years experience who has the accident. It is the child with the greater number of years of riding.

The activities most frequent named in accidents are jumping (33.6%) and cross county (16.8%). The location of the accidents in 1998 was arena (30.7%), outside course (25.4%), and ring (21.1%). The three studies (1998, 1997, 15 year) agree that the most likely place for an accident is in the arena, outside course or the ring. The outside course has more accidents than expected for the amount of PC time spent in this area.

In 1998, 21 (17%) horse related accidents occurred when the child was not mounted. These are usually in horsemanship with "horse stepped on" the most common. An equal number of unmounted accidents occurred in activities around the horse: heat illness, child fainted, shut finger in truck door, caught finger in trailer, two children had reactions to bee stings, one fell from a bicycle, one had a convulsion and two fell while walking/running.

The cause of the accident was reported in 1998 with the horse falling or slipping (19.8%), bucked or threw rider (16.5%) and refused jump (13.2%). The rider was out of position in 11.6% of the accidents. Spooked or shied has been prominent in the previous studies but was not reported frequently in 1998.

Correlating ratings with accidents is difficult as one fourth of the Pony Club membership ratings have not been given to the national office. The figures appear to show that the percent of accidents in unrated and in the D rated members have continued to decrease during the years of the accident study.

 

Previous injury records are incomplete as the short report form in 1997 did not ask this question. Where this information is reported in the studies, the percent shows 27% of those having an accident have had a previous accidents.

In 1998, almost one fourth (24.2%) of the accidents were at Festival. Festival has an excellent reporting so that accidents which might normally be overlooked are reported. Festival has an extensive plan for prevention, first aid, and treatment of those attending the event. The motor vehicle accident during Festival is not included in these figures.

The Safety Committee thanks the parents, Pony Clubbers, District Commissioners, Regional Supervisors and those at Festival for making these records available for the safety study.

Doris Bixby Hammett, MD
Safety Committee, United States Pony Clubs

The USPC NEWS reported the accident study in its Fall 1998 Number 83 issue, United States Pony Club, Inc. 4071 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511-8462.

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NEISS HORSE RELATED INJURIES
PRELIMINARY FIGURES FOR 1998

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission through the National Injury Information Clearinghouse provides figures on horse related injuries that go to hospital emergency rooms over the nation.

NEISS explains that the sample was updated in 1990 and again in 1997 to reflect the most current figures from hospital emergency rooms in the US. It states that the 1997 sample update took into account changes between the 1985 and 1995 sampling frames. These changes include opening of new hospital emergency rooms, closing of some hospital emergency rooms and changes in the caseload in other hospital emergency rooms.

The sample updates caused changes in the level of the estimates. Estimates from years prior to a sample update are not directly comparable to estimates after the update. Percent figures are used for prior years rather than the corresponding numbers. (See previous year reports: AMEA NEWS Aug 1998, Aug 1997, Nov. 1996, Nov 1995, Feb 1994)

 

AREA OF BODY INJURED

 

The preliminary figures for 1998 compared with 1997 and the previous four years 1992-1996, show increasing injuries to the trunk.. The trunk is the sum of upper trunk, lower trunk, shoulder, and pubic region. The increase has been in the shoulder which may not be properly included in the trunk. Lower extremity injuries have continued to decease. Head injury has increased.

 

TYPE OF INJURY

 

The percent of concussion has increased again this year as have the head injuries above. As mentioned in 1997 AMEA NEWS (August 1997 and August 1998 ), we feel that the riders wearing protective headgear have fewer injuries. Those that are injured are not wearing protective helmets which increases the percent of concussions of those going to emergency rooms.

 

GENDER OF INJURED

 

More females are injured in horse related accidents. The figures for 1998 reverse the trend of increasing percent of males injured which has been evident every year since 1992.

 

AGE OF INJURED

 

Children ages 0-4 years have decreased injuries in 1998. We hope that this shows that adults are protecting their children when the child is around a horse. The 5-14 year age group has not changed their percentage of injuries. This is of special concern for we would hope that these ages would be the most receptive to safety education. The figures which give us the greatest pleasure are the figures of the 15 to 24 years of age in which the percent was 20.9% in 1992-1996, 17.7% in 1997, and this year is 15.3% Safety education learned in these younger riders is being practiced. Whether this is voluntary or the result of increasing mandates, we do not know. The riders 25-44 years of age had a higher percent of injuries than in 1997 and 1992-1996.and those 45-64 and those over 65 years have decreased their percent of injuries but we do not know if fewer riders are in this age group or those that ride are increasing safety conscious.

 

LOCATION OF ACCIDENT WITH INJURY

The percent of injuries at home and in sports have changed very little over 1997 Our concern is that the injuries in sports have not changed after an increase over 1992-1996 and have now surpassed the injuries at home. Those who manage and make the rules for equestrian sports have opportunities and obligations to lead influencing rule changes which will improve safety and decrease injury figures in horse sports.

From US CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Comments by Doris Bixby Hammett, MD
Editor AMEA NEWS.

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