It is one of those things that parents dread, yet it is fairly common that a child will break some sort of bone during their childhood.
Unfortunately, as a parent, you will no doubt face a time when your child injures themselves and must go to the emergency room.While it is one of those things that parents dread, it is common enough that a child will break some sort of bone during their childhood.
Thankfully, children usually make a good recovery though as their bones are more flexible than an adult.
However, we know the stress attributed to the worry when you think your child has broken a bone and here we share some ways to tell when a trip to the emergency room is required:
Injury woes – If your child is playing outside or at school, they may have fallen over, got hurt by a ball or by doing some sort of leap in the air. Realistically, kids can hurt themselves easily enough and when you see the injury happen and their reaction, it usually tells you what you need to know. However, some kids hide pain more than others and most will try to avoid a trip to casualty as it isn’t that much fun. Of course, there is every chance a suspected broken bone could be a bad sprain but if your child is in pain you need to get it checked out.
Watch for symptoms – It is so hard to tell if your child has a broken bone, a fracture or a sprain – doctors can’t even tell (for sure) until they have seen an X-ray. However, there are some signs that you should be aware of, including swelling, bruising, severe pain (in one area), inability to move the area impacted (though it is possible to move with a fracture or break) and punctured skin around the place of injury. Furthermore, there are many different types of fractures and the only way you can be certain is by having a professional examine your child and running the relevant tests.
How serious can breaks/fractures be? - Most breaks are simply about putting your child in a cast, depending on where the injury is, and getting some rest to manage the pain. Again, it depends on the place of injury or impact as a back, head or neck injury can be a lot more serious. If ever in doubt, there is no point in waiting to go to the emergency room and you should call an ambulance instead.
Recovery times - Your child's recovery will depend on the injury and what has occurred. A normal fracture or break may need a plaster cast for 2 to 3 weeks with it being healed in a month or so. In some cases though, and again it depends on the injury itself, there may be a lot of pain, and doctors will treat broken bones with a cast, splint or a brace. These devices hold the bones in place to stop them from moving and, in more serious cases, the bone may have to be reset into position. This could be done with an anaesthetic or while your child is awake, but it depends on your child’s case and the important thing is to take each step at a time.
Things to help your child - While your child is recovering from a break or a fracture you should ensure your youngster eats a healthy diet full of nutrients to aid healing and encourage a quick recovery. Make sure you and your child take care of the cast and splint – keeping it as clean as possible. Ask your doctor about exercise and how much rest is needed and follow up on all appointments to ensure your child is on the right path to recovery.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.