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To know if your child has broken a bone, it is important to be aware of abnormal swellings in the arms, legs or other parts of the body, such as hands and feet, as it is common for the child not to be able to complain about the pain that feel, especially when under 3 years old.
Also, another sign that your child may have broken a bone is when he has difficulty moving an arm or leg, feeling unwilling to play or avoiding being touched, during the bath, for example.
Fractures in children are more frequent before the age of 6 years due to falls or car accidents and, generally, do not cause deformation of the limbs because the bones are more flexible than those of adults and do not break completely.See how to protect your child in the car at: Age for the baby to travel.
Swelling in the fractured arm
What to do if the bone is broken
What to do when there is a suspicion of a broken bone in the child is:
- Go to the emergency room immediately or call an ambulance by calling 192;
- Prevent the child from moving the affected limb, immobilizing it with a sheet;
- Compress the fractured region with clean cloths if there is excessive bleeding.
Usually, the treatment of fracture in children is done only with the placement of plaster on the affected limb, and surgery is only used in the most severe cases when there is an exposed fracture, for example.
How to speed up recovery from a fracture
Recovery time for a fracture in children is about 2 months, however, there are some practical precautions that can help speed up the process, including:
- Avoid the child from making unnecessary efforts with the limb in a cast, avoiding aggravation of the injury;
- Sleep with the limb in a cast higher than the body, placing 2 pillows under the affected limb to prevent swelling;
- Encouraging finger movement on the affected limb to maintain joint strength and range, reducing the need for physical therapy;
- Increase consumption of foods rich in calcium, such as milk or avocado, to accelerate bone healing;
- Check the affected limb for signs of complications such as swollen fingers, purple skin or cold fingers, for example.
In some cases, after recovery from the fracture, the pediatrician may recommend that the child undergo a few physical therapy sessions to regain normal movement of the affected limb.
Also, parents should take their child to regular pediatric visits for 12 to 18 months after the fracture to ensure that there is no growth problem with the broken bone.