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Fractures in Children

ChildrenIt is not unusual for children to collect a few bumps, scrapes, and bruises as they grow up. Some fractures can be quite serious, and all fractures demand medical attention. If fractures aren’t treated quickly, complications can develop.

Having a child with a bone fracture can be devastating and costly. If your child has sustained a broken bone in an accident that was caused by another person's negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation to cover your damages. Call our injury lawyers at (916) 921-6400 to find out about your legal options.

How do Fractures in Children Happen?

Like fractures in adults, fractures in children can happen in some different ways. In children, two of the most commonly fractured bones are the radius and the ulna. According to a study looking at fractures in over 1000 children, the radius and ulna accounted for close to half of the fractures. These are the two bones that make up the forearm and the wrist. When children fall, they often extend their hands to try and brace themselves. This is a reflex that is learned to try and protect the internal organs from trauma. 

Unfortunately, this also places the bones of the wrist in harm’s way. As the force from the fall is transmitted through the hands and into the wrist, these bones can fracture. This same type of mechanism can be applied to numerous bones in the body of a child.

What Symptoms to Look Out For?

Many parents would like to know what symptoms they should be looking for that might indicate a fracture in their child. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain: In older children, they might be able to vocalize that a part of their body hurts. If no obvious cut or scrape is present, a bone fracture could be resting underneath.
  • Swelling: When a bone is broken, the body tries to rush cells to the location of the injury. These cells act to repair the break in the bone. This rush of cells also causes the injury site to swell. 
  • A range of Motion: If a bone is broken, it will not move easily. Because the bones have fractured, they will not flex and extend to the same degree. If parents notice that their child can't move a certain limb, this could indicate a bone fracture.
How are Fractures in Children Treated?

Like any other fracture, the first step is to image the injury. While some fractures could be obvious, it is essential to ensure that no other injuries are overlooked. An x-ray or a CT scan could be used to take a picture of the injury site. Once all of the fractures have been identified. 

It is important to ascertain whether or not surgery is needed. If the bone is out of its proper location, surgery will be required to put the bone back into place. Once the bone is in place, the injury is placed in a cast. A cast prevents the child from moving the limb. Over a period of a few weeks, the fracture will heal. After this, the cast is removed, and the bone should be as good as new.

The following video discusses some of the ways you can prevent broken bones in your child.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.12.20]

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