What You Should Do When Your Child Has a Broken Bone

pediatrician with patient

Kids often love to stay active. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean getting injured unexpectedly. Fortunately, you can treat some injuries, like a minor scrape or cut, at home. But what must you do when your child comes down with a broken bone?

How to Know Your Child Has a Broken Bone

With older kids, it can be easier to identify a broken bone since they can articulate what happened and what they are feeling. However, with infants and toddlers, this can be a lot more difficult. 

An obvious sign would be if your child keeps crying and is not using the affected area. If your child can speak, ask them where it hurts and the level of pain they are experiencing. You can then inspect the affected region to look for other symptoms such as swelling, redness, and deformities. 

What You Can Do to Treat the Situation

When you feel that something is wrong, it’s best to seek kids’ urgent care. However, before you can get to the emergency room, kids urgent care center, or your pediatrician’s office, you can do a couple of things to help relieve your child’s pain.

It’s crucial to protect the injury by creating a splint. You can improvise a sling using a rolled-up newspaper or a magazine. 

Some parents may decide to give their children pain relief medication to help ease what they’re feeling. However, this is not advisable unless your pediatrician says it is okay. If you have an older child, you may apply a cold compress instead to help relieve their pain. But if you have a baby or toddler, it’s best not to put anything cold on their delicate skin as it may cause further injury. 

If the broken bone is in the leg, it’s essential to try not to move your child yourself. Instead, you should call for an ambulance and let the paramedics handle the transportation.

For open injuries with bleeding or a protruding bone, you should apply some pressure and cover the wound with clean, sterile gauze. As disturbing as the situation may be, it’s crucial not to set the bone back yourself, or it could make things worse. 

After your child has received professional care, you must stay alert and watch out for a fever. It may indicate an infection in the wound, so it would be best to consult your pediatrician about this to get the appropriate treatment.

What to Expect during Professional Treatment

When you’re at the doctor, they will inspect the injury and will likely order an X-ray to see the extent of the damage. Depending on the diagnosis, your pediatrician may need to get an orthopedic consultation.

For minor fractures, the doctor may use a plaster cast, fiberglass cast, or immobilizing splint. This is because children’s bones heal much faster than adults’. However, if the injury is a displaced fracture, an orthopedic surgeon may be necessary to realign the bones. 

In that case, the surgeon will be using local or general anesthesia on your child to manipulate the bones until they are straight again. They will then apply a cast to allow the injury to heal correctly. In rare instances, a surgical procedure in an operating room may be the answer.

As we’ve mentioned, children’s bones heal much more rapidly, so the amount of time they spend in the cast is usually half the time required for adults. Typically, once your child is in a cast, their pain should decrease. However, if the opposite is true and your child’s fingers become pale or blue, the injury may be swollen. It’s crucial to call your doctor immediately if this happens so they can adjust the cast accordingly. 

Final Thoughts

As a parent, it’s best to stay calm and alert when your child shows signs of injuries. If they have symptoms of a broken bone, it’s vital to call a medical professional immediately and avoid transporting the child yourself. While waiting, you can improvise a splint for them and apply a cold compress for older children. After receiving treatment, it’s important to monitor your child to see if anything else is wrong.

During emergencies, your child deserves the best care from Your Kid’s Urgent Care. We offer superior and convenient urgent care for kids in Orlando, FL, New Providence, NJ, and Vestavia Hills, AL. Your Kids Urgent Care serves as the intermediary between a child’s primary care physician and the Emergency Room. Get in touch with us today!

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