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Mechanical bulls dangerous for children: case studies

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Mechanical bulls dangerous for children: case studies

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A mechanical bull for your child’s birthday party may be more popular with kids than you expected — and not in a good way, according to a new study.

According to an article that examined three incidents involving children falling or being hit by a mechanical bull, described in the journal BMJ Case Reports, bouncing beasts may pose an avoidable risk to young children.

All three were treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California.

The ages of the children involved were not included, but all three were described as being in “early childhood”.

In the first example, a male child was taken to the emergency room with severe pain in his right elbow after falling from a mechanical bull at a private party onto a padded surface.

He hadn’t been wearing a helmet or any other safety gear, and his elbow was swollen and couldn’t move as much immediately after the fall.

He was determined to have suffered a common elbow fracture seen in young children, which was treated the next day so he could be sent home.

In the second example, another male child hit his head after falling from a mechanical bull that was being driven by “teenage partygoers”.

He hit his head against a metal surface as he fell and immediately started crying. He was not wearing a helmet or any other safety equipment.

He was able to walk after the injury and was taken by ambulance to an outside hospital, where medical workers stapled the wound to his head. However, that wasn’t the end of his night – after being stapled up, he vomited twice and was airlifted to another hospital by helicopter.

There he received CT scans which revealed a minor skull fracture. He was sutured and admitted to intensive care for monitoring before being released three days later.

“At a follow-up over a year after the injury, the patient had made a full physical recovery, but the relative reports that he is traumatized by the incident, becoming agitated if he sees similar rides, such as rides,” the paper said.

The third case study is perhaps the most serious – in this case, a young girl was struck twice in the head due to a fall from a mechanical bull.

First, she hit her head as she fell, then, as she tried to get up, the still-moving bull struck her in the head a second time.

She was not wearing a helmet or other safety gear and started crying right after the injury, with visible abrasion of her lips and blood on her head.

She was assessed at an outdoor hospital, where she vomited once, then was taken to another hospital to be checked for a fractured skull.

CT scans showed there was a bone fracture that displaced the left parietal bone by two millimeters and localized bleeding in his skull. There were a few other fractures that didn’t move the bones either.

She was monitored for the next few days in hospital, where she suffered bouts of nausea and vomiting.

“Despite the significant neurological injury, she was successfully managed without surgery and then discharged home on day 4 of the hospital,” the study states.

Three weeks later, during a check-up, she was still complaining of headaches.

On the injury severity scale, she received a 17, compared to a nine in the second case and a four in the first.

The hospital that examined these three patients contacted eight local vendors who operate mechanical bulls in Los Angeles to ask about their precautions and safety rules.

What they discovered was that the rules varied widely by provider.

“Rider age and height requirements vary widely between regional providers, with two providers allowing three-year-olds to ride alone, two providers only requiring riders to be able to reach the handlebars, and one supplier with no minimum age or height,” the newspaper said. declared. “Of the eight sellers contacted, only one seller reports a permanent age or height restriction that would have prevented these three children from riding.”

None required certain safety equipment for children, and only one provider used a child’s weight as an indicator to limit the bull’s maximum speed.

The hospital reported details of the children’s cases to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“Parents can expect mechanical bulls to have a similar safety profile to conventional ‘kiddie rides’ or carousels, but the latter have a slow, predictable motion in a single plane and allow parents to stand next to the child to prevent falls,” the study points out.

Mechanical bulls, on the other hand, are designed to move and spin jerkily and unpredictably, and parents cannot stand close enough to prevent a child from falling.

The authors of the case report call on the CPSC to better regulate these products to prevent harm to children.



Mechanical bulls dangerous for children: case studies

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