Broken bones (or fractures) are a common injury in kids. They often happen after a fall. All broken bones need medical care, no matter how small it seems.
Signs & Symptoms of a Broken Bone
Your child may have a broken bone if:
you heard a "snap" or a grinding noise during an injury
there's swelling, bruising, or tenderness
the injured part is difficult to move or hurts when moving, being touched, or bearing weight
What to Do
Take clothing off the injured area.
Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth.
Keep the injured limb in the position you find it.
Put a simple splint on the broken area if you have one. A splint holds the bone still. This protects it until the child is seen by the doctor. To make a splint, you can use a small board, cardboard, or folded up newspapers. Wrap it with an elastic bandage or tape.
Get medical care.
Don't let your child eat or drink in case they need surgery.
Do Not Move Your Child and Call 911 Right Away If:
You suspect a serious injury to the head, neck, or back.
A broken bone comes through the skin. While waiting for help:
Keep your child lying down.
Do not wash the wound or push in any part that's sticking out.
Not every fracture can be prevented. But you can make a break less likely. Follow these tips:
Use safety gates at bedroom doors and at both the top and bottom of stairs (for babies or toddlers).
Follow helmet and safety gear rules for young athletes and any child riding a bicycle, tricycle, skateboard, scooter, or any type of skates and roller blades.