It is not uncommon for a child to break one or more of their bones while they are growing up. As much as you try to prevent this kind of accident, it may still happen. You need to know what kind of first aid your child needs if this painful situation occurs.
Defining a broken or fractured bone
There are two different ways that a bone can break. It can crack or shatter into many pieces. Violent trauma, sports injuries, or accidents are some of the situations which can result in a broken bone. Immediate medical care is required for the proper treatment of cracked or shattered bones. They are not usually life-threatening injuries, although they can be.
Broken bones are defined by a few different names. When there is a break on only one side of the bone, it is called a greenstick fracture. A torus or buckle fracture occurs when one side has an outward bend, but there is no break on the other side. A tiny piece of bone that breaks off with a tendon or ligament is called an avulsion fracture.
A tiny bone crack is called a stress fracture. If your child or teen’s growing bone breaks, they may have a growth plate fracture. If the bone breaks into pieces (two or more), then it is called a comminuted fracture. Finally, when a bone collapses, that is called a compression fracture.
Recognizing the symptoms of a broken bone
Be on the lookout for one or more of the following symptoms if you suspect your child has a broken bone. Some can mean that your child is at risk of something more serious than a broken bone like infection or blood loss.
- A bone sticking out of the skin
- Extreme pain in the injured area that worsens when movement occurs
- Heavy bleeding at the injury site
- Visible deformity
- A blue tinge to the skin in the injured area
Giving your child first aid care for a broken bone
If you think your child may have a broken bone, there are steps you can take to apply first aid. First, stop any bleeding by elevating the wound and applying pressure to the injury. Use a clean cloth, clean piece of clothing, or sterile bandage.
Have your child stay as still as possible so that they will not make the injury worse, especially if it is on their neck or back. You can make a sling or a splint to help isolate an arm or leg. Wrap an ice pack or bag of ice cubes with a cloth and apply it to the injury to help reduce swelling. Remove and apply the pack at ten-minute intervals. Be aware that your child may go into shock. Treatment for this situation is to reassure them, get them into a comfortable position, and cover them with a blanket or extra clothing for warmth.
Call 911 or get your child to an emergency room as soon as you can, especially if the injury is serious or there is a lot of bleeding. If your child can be safely moved to the car, then take them to an emergency facility.
Be sure to visit a pediatrician if your child breaks a bone
It is important that you take your child to a pediatrician for follow-up care after they break a bone. If you need more information about caring for your child’s broken bone, call Dr. John Young and his caring staff at (806) 354-0404 ext. 330. We are dedicated to keeping your child healthy and providing the best clinical experience possible. You can also Email Us or visit in person at 1500 S. Coulter St., Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our Services.