Children tend to gets bumps and bruises all through their youth. As a parent, it's important to be able to recognize the telltale signs of fractures in your child's growing body. Here's how to tell if your child's boo-boo is a bone fracture and how to immobilize your child's injury so they can be safely taken in for treatment.
Telltale signs of a fractured bone
The worst kinds of fractures will break through the skin, which would make it obvious that there is something wrong. Some fractures do not break through the skin but the child's limb can be obviously crooked or misshapen. But sometimes fractures aren't as obvious to see, such as hairline fractures. Here are several symptoms that your child may experience when they have a bone fracture.
- pain if they move the limb or when the affected area is touched or pressed on
- inability to put weight on the affected limb, with accompanying pain
- tenderness, swelling, and bruising on, near, or around the affected limb
- snapping or grinding noise at the time of the injury or when the limb is rotated or moved
How to take your child in for treatment
If your child's bone breaks through the skin, call 911. Do not attempt to move your child and make sure they lie as still as possible. If bleeding is profuse, cover the wound with a gauze pad and apply constant pressure. Yes, this may cause additional pain to your child but it is necessary to control bleeding. While waiting for the first responders to arrive, try to keep your child and yourself calm.
If there is no breakage to the skin, immobilize the injury with a makeshift splint. First, place soft padding around the injured limb. Then, place a firm, straight object (such as a thin book or a cutting board from your kitchen) against one side of the injured limb and loosely wrap it with a bandage or tie kitchen towels around it. Be sure that the firm object is long enough to go past the joints on each side of the injury. When the broken limb is immobilized, help your child get into a vehicle and take them to the nearest urgent care or orthopedic doctor.
Important note: Whether you are waiting for the ambulance or your child is being transported by you or a friend or neighbor, do not allow your child to eat in case they need surgery to repair the fractured bone.
To learn more, contact a company like Ultimate Sports.