What to Do If You Suspect Your Child Has Broken Their Arm

Kids are notorious for playing like little dare devils from time to time. Often, they aren’t aware of the consequences or dangers that can be associated with their actions, so there is no sense of fear and they don’t mind pushing the boundaries. That, and the fact they aren’t always the most coordinated, can result in accidents here and there. So, what happens if that injury seems like something more serious than just a minor scrape or cut? What if you suspect they have actually broken their arm?

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Here we will take a look at the signs to watch for, the steps you can take, and what to expect as far as the recovery process goes.

Is It Actually Broken?

The first thing parents typically ask is how to tell if arm is broken or sprained. There is pain associated with both and depending on the age of your child, it’s not always easy to get a detailed list of symptoms from them, let alone the full story as to how it happened. Shared symptoms of a break and sprain can include swelling, pain, and not being able to move the arm as they normally would.

Typically, a broken arm will result in severe pain, not just moderate. There may be a deformity seen (where the break has occurred), bruising, and they won’t be able to move their arm in that area. The absolute best way to tell if it is broken or just sprained is to seek medical attention immediately. The urgency room will be equipped with an x-ray machine which may be necessary to locate the exact position of the break.

How to Treat a Broken Arm

The first thing to know about a broken arm is that treatment is absolutely necessary, and the sooner the better. Leaving a break without treatment for days can result in it not healing properly, as well as other complications. The treatment will depend on what kind of break it is and can involve the doctor having to set the bone back in place. After the arm has been set, your child will probably require a sling, splint, cast, or a brace. This will ensure that proper healing is possible and nothing slips back out of place.

It is normal for the arm to stay swollen for up to a week after the injury, as it should start to go down a bit each day. The doctor may also have your child come back for an x-ray to ensure that things are healing properly.

Unfortunately, in severe cases it may be necessary to perform surgery in order to fix the area where the break has occurred. They may need to use screws, nails, wires, and plates to hold the bone in place.

The doctor will likely prescribe rehabilitation therapy as well, which will gently exercise the arm to ensure that it gets its full strength and mobility back.

Dealing with a broken arm is a very stressful and painful experience for any child, but it’s important to get it looked at as soon as possible so that it can be treated and set in place properly.


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