Broken Bones and Fractures

How Can I Tell if My Child Has a Broken Bone?

It's often hard to diagnose a broken bone without an X-ray and a medical exam. Children who exhibit any of the following symptoms should be seen right away. If your doctor recommends casting, be sure to ask for a waterproof cast so your child can shower, bathe and swim comfortably.

  • Intense pain, or pain that lasts longer than a few days after a fall or injury
  • Swelling, bruising or bleeding
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Not using or favoring an arm or leg
  • Unable to walk or is walking crooked
  • A child who can't talk keeps pointing to a body part, or cries when it is moved or touched

How Can Children Avoid Breaking Bones?

Aside from putting your kids in a plastic bubble until they’re 18, there’s no foolproof way to prevent broken bones. We know you certainly want to encourage your kids to be active, so here are some ways to lower their risk for broken bones and other injuries. Make sure your child:

  • Is well rested, eats a balanced diet and stays hydrated
  • Wears protective gear appropriate for their sport or activity
  • Warms up and gently stretches muscles and joints before activities
  • Plays in areas that are safe and free of holes, ruts and debris

Common Ways Children Fracture Bones

Did you know the terms "fracture" and "break" mean the same thing? A fracture is a break in any bone in the body, and there are many different types of fractures. Children can break bones doing almost anything, but some activities are more high risk than others. Orthopedists and emergency room doctors routinely see patients with broken bones from participating in the following activities, so excercise additional caution when letting kids participate in these activities:

Followed closely by:

  • Contact sports like football and gymnastics/competitive cheer
  • Riding ATVs/dirt bikes
  • Jumping in bounce houses
  • Riding down slides in a parent's lap

Common Ways Children Fracture Bones Playing Sports

It's no surprise that sports injuries are among the most common pediatric orthopedic injuries. But how do those accidents most often happen?

  • Collisions
  • Pileups
  • Twisting
  • Falling

Protect your little athlete by making sure he knows how to play the game, is properly supervised by qualified adults who know CPR, and is outfitted with the proper equipment and safety gear.