Children break bones all the time without realizing. In fact, broken bones are the fourth most common injury among children under age six. As a parent, these are the 7 symptoms you can check for before seeing a doctor.
If you see pieces of a bone have pierced your child’s skin, then it’s a broken bone. The doctor may also call it a displaced fracture, which means parts of the bone aren’t lined up the way they should.
Non-displaced fracture is when the broken parts of the bone are still lined up correctly. This type of fracture is harder to identify, but here are 7 red flags to help you spot it.
You or your child could hear a snapping noise during the injury.
Your child may feel pain when he tries to walk, lift something, touch or put pressure on a limb.
Your child may get bumps on his limbs. Some other obvious changes may also appear.
Your child may have bruising in the area of injury, and it feels tender to touch.
This could be a warning sign of nerve damage near a break.
However, this isn’t always a sign of a fracture, because some children with broken bones can still move their limb.
What you can do before taking your child to the doctor:
● Make sure your child is lying down.
● Put pressure on the injured area with a sterile gauze pad or a clean cloth.
● Don’t try to push the bone back into place.
● Don’t wash the area of trauma.
If you can’t see the bone, you can do the following while you wait for help.
● Don’t move the limb.
● Remove clothing around the injured area as gently as possible.
● Wrap ice or a cold compress in a cloth and put it on the skin near the injured area. But don’t do this to babies and toddlers.
● Make a splint to stabilize the area
● Don’t give any food, drink, or medicine to your child in case he needs surgery.
● First, fill the space around the area of pain with soft cloth.
● Then, wrap rolled-up newspaper around the limb. Make sure to cover the top and bottom of the limb.
● Finally, wrap shoelaces or bandage to fasten the splint in place, but don’t do it too lightly.
Sometimes a sling made out of a piece of clothing will also keep the limb or joint in place.
Fractures heal at different rates, depending on the age of the child and the type of fracture. So it’s important for your child to wait to play sports until your doctor says it’s OK.
● Make sure your child is getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
● Motivate your child to exercise regularly and do physical activities.
● Take simple safety precautions, like childproofing your home.