Caring for our Kids: Easing fears that come with broken bones

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Broken bones are a common hazard of childhood and can happen in a split second. But, healing can take some time.

A broken bone can be scary for children and their parents. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Dr. Shannon Cohen shares some of the main causes of broken bones in childre. tips for identifying broken bones and treatment.

What are the most common broken bones you see at Children’s Hospital?

Most fractures occur in upper extremities like the wrist, forearm and above the elbow. When kids fall, it’s a natural reaction to try to stop the fall.

How do I know if it’s broken?

The following are some of the signs, but always consult a doctor if you suspect a break.

  • Snap or grinding noise was heard during injury
  • Severe swelling, bruising or tenderness around injured area
  • It’s painful for child to move, touch or bear weight on
  • Injured part looks abnormal or bone is protruding through skin

What to do

  • Seek medical care immediately if you suspect a break
  • Do not move child if they may have seriously injured head, neck or back
  • Do not try to push protruding bone back in

What will happen at hospital?

An X-ray will be ordered, but you probably won’t get a cast in the emergency room. That’s because the swelling needs to go down before applying a cast. Most often a child will be given a splint to wear until the swelling goes down, which can take a few days.

What about healing time?

It depends on the location or severity of the break. The good news is that children’s bones are more flexible and usually heal more rapidly than adults.

If the doctor suspects a growth plate is affected, or if the bones are out of line, your child will likely be referred to a pediatric orthopedic for consultation.


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