One minute your child was playing on the playground and the next they are running to you crying. Upon a quick inspection, you realize that their arm might be broken. While this may seem scary in the moment, it is a very common injury. It is also highly treatable, as about 80% of urgent care centers treat fractures. If you find yourself in this situation, use this guide to know how to react and what to expect from the doctor’s diagnosis.
How To React To A Possible Fracture
- Calm your child down. Fractures hurt, so your child will likely be crying. Do what you can to soothe them and tell them they are going to be okay. Be open with them that you are going to take them to a doctor to fix their arm.
- Immobilize their arm. Use a firm object (cardboard, rolled up newspaper, etc.) and some soft padding (clothing, towels, etc.) to form a makeshift splint. This will keep the limb in place and prevent further injury while you take your child to medical care.
- Apply a cold pack if it is available. If you happen to have a first aid kit in your car, or if your child is injured at home, apply an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling. Encourage your child to hold it in place while you drive to a clinic.
- Take your child to a medical center. The most important step is to get your child to professional care as soon as possible. The staff at the clinic will perform an x-ray to give you a more specific diagnosis.
Types Of Fractures To Know
If your child’s arm is indeed broken, the medical clinic will likely diagnose one of these three types of fractures.
- Simple Fracture: This type of fracture is a clean break through the bone. This typically heals fairly quickly, especially in children.
- Compound Fracture: These fractures happen when the bone actually pierces the skin. The clinic will have specific instructions on how to handle this type of injury.
- Greenstick Fracture: Your child will receive this diagnosis if their bone cracks and bends, but does not actually break like a simple and compound fracture.
While at the medical clinic, be sure to ask the doctor plenty of questions about your child’s aftercare. Once your child is discharged, discuss what they can expect while they heal. Your kid will need plenty of support during this time, so be sure to assist them physically and emotionally.