Horseback riding head and brain injury; preventable with proper head protection

decline in the occurrence of severe head injuries, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness.

In the early 1980s, numerous organizations (American Horse Shows Association, United States Pony Club, United States Combined Training Association, and the United States Equestrian team) began requiring all competitors to use helmets meeting the United States Pony Club Standard. This standard was developed by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. In 1988, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) passed new standards (ASTM F-1163) for equestrian helmets that required helmets to provide a higher level of protection than previous models. This is an industry-wide standard that replaces previous standards. As of March 1990, the United States Pony Club required use of these new helmets for all activities.

New helmets that meet the ASTM standard will be certified by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), a compliance organization responsible for certifying industrial products. The SEI seal, containing the date and manufacturer’s lot number, must be permanently applied to the inside of the helmet so the buyer will know it is an approved equestrian helmet. Child injury lawyer Dog Landau salutes these safety requirements, as they will help reduce the likelihood of permanent brain injury, disability and prevent needless suffering by young riders.

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