What To Do If You Think Your Child Has Fractured A Bone

boy with a broken arm

With kids, it’s often hard to tell the serious accidents from the not-so-serious accidents. Unfortunately, one of the more common serious injuries that kids suffer is a broken bone, with the most common being an arm or wrist, as  the natural instinct when falling is to extend an arm to break the fall. When a child does fracture a bone, there is likely to be a lot of pain, probably tears and shock.

With any fracture, you will need to take a trip to the doctor, and depending on the how serious you think the injury, you may need to go to the emergency room. There are several steps you can take, however, to help your child.

Immobilise the limb

Make your child comfortable and take measures to immobilise the limb. This might be by applying a splint or sling.  If you don’t have a sling, you can use your child’s shirt to support the arm and keep it out of the way. Fold the bottom of the t-shirt up and over the arm at the elbow, and knot it at the back to hold the arm tightly in place. To create a splint, wrap a newspaper around the leg and and secure with a scarf or other piece of clothing.

Ice and elevate

To ease the swelling apply ice, then elevate to help with pain relief. When applying ice, always wrap it in a cloth and don’t place it directly against the skin. Leave it on for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.

Help with the pain

Depending on your child’s medical history, ibuprofen or paracetamol are recommended for relieving pain as well as swelling.

More serious fractures e.g. compound fractures

If the bone has broken through the skin or the fracture is more complicated, higher level surgery may be required. This will be assessed at hospital, and if surgery is required it will most likely involve an anaesthetic. Because of this possibility, it is important not to give the child anything to eat or drink until after medical attention has been received.

And finally…

Most broken bones can be easily reset. After a few weeks, the cast will be removed and your child will soon forget about the pain and inconvenience–they’ll just have another battle scar and story to tell friends!

 

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