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Mechanical bull riding in early childhood: a preventable cause of serious injury
  1. Erin E Ross1,
  2. Iris Garcia2,3,
  3. Melissa Anderson4 and
  4. Ryan Spurrier1,3
  1. 1Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2Injury Prevention Program, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  4. 4Trauma Program, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  1. Correspondence to Erin E Ross; eeross{at}


Our institution saw three cases of moderate to severe injury in children under 7 years of age caused by falls from mechanical bulls at private parties. Injuries sustained included long bone fracture, skull fracture and intracranial haemorrhage. The circumstances of these injuries led our institution’s injury prevention team to investigate the safety protocols of local vendors, revealing limited regulation of safety equipment, rider age or height minimums and training for the operation of mechanical bulls. This information was reported to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in order to reduce instances of these serious injuries in young children.

  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery
  • paediatrics
  • trauma

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  • Contributors ER, IG, MA: Collection of patient and vendor information. ER, IG, MA, RS: Conceptualisation and critical revision of manuscript. ER: Preparation of initial draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.