Broken Bones: A Parent’s Guide To Prevention And Treatment
As a parent, one of your biggest fears is seeing your child in pain. Watching as your child sustains an injury is traumatic. Yet, knowing how to handle common childhood emergencies before they happen helps you keep a clear head when your child is injured.
Unfortunately, a fractured bone can happen during the course of a child’s normal activities, and they commonly occur on weekends or in the evening when your child’s regular doctor might not be available. Whether your child is in sports or you just like to be prepared, here is what you should know about handling broken bones.
Be Proactive With Prevention
Kids are naturally energetic and curious, and all it takes is for a child to test their skills too far for a broken bone to occur. While it may be tempting to cover them in bubble wrap, the truth is that simple measures can protect your child from injury.
Make sure that your child wears the appropriate safety equipment when they are playing sports. Wearing a helmet along with knee and elbow pads goes a long way toward preventing fractures. It is also important to teach your kids to avoid dangers such as standing on chairs or playing on stairs.
Know the Signs of a Fracture
Broken bones can range from obvious breaks where you can see a misshapen limb to smaller ones that may take time to generate noticeable symptoms. In some cases, a minor fracture may not be severely painful, which means that you should always be alert for potential breaks after you see your child sustain a serious blow.
Watch for these signs of a possible broken bone that signify that your child may need an x-ray.
- Hearing an audible pop or grinding sound after an injury
- Noticing swelling in the affected limb
- Complaining of pain or discomfort in the area of an injury
- Bruising over the painful area
- Difficulty using an arm or leg after it has been injured
- Problems bearing weight on a leg or foot
Apply First Aid
It is important to protect the injured area when you suspect a broken bone until you can get your child medical treatment. Start by removing any clothing around the affected area in case of swelling. You can also apply an ice pack to prevent swelling if you have one available.
Next, you will need to stabilize the limb. If you do not have a splint available, you can make one using a rolled up magazine or newspaper. Simply wrap this around the affected limb, and use a first aid bandage or tape to secure it. Make sure to avoid making the splint too tight since you do not want to cut off circulation.
Seek Urgent Treatment
It is important to seek medical treatment for your child right away to ease their distress and promote better healing. Once you have applied first aid, take your child to the urgent care clinic where an x-ray can be done to determine the extent of the injury. This way, the appropriate treatment can be applied without delay.
Follow the After Care Instructions
The majority of broken bones are treated with a cast or splint, depending on their location and severity. Make sure that you understand how to care for your child’s injury before you leave the urgent care clinic. Then, make sure to follow up with the recommended plan for checking your child’s healing.
At Walking Urgent Care, we know that children often get injured outside of their pediatrician’s normal office hours. When you suspect an injury after hours, bring them into our clinic so that we can diagnose and treat their broken limb right away.