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    Treating Broken Arms in Children

    Call 911 if: 

    • The bone has broken through the skin.
    • The arm is bleeding heavily.
    • The arm is numb, white, or blue.
    • There is deformity to the arm.

    • The bone has broken through the skin.
    • The arm is bleeding heavily.
    • The arm is numb, white, or blue.
    • There is deformity to the arm.

    As long as you get medical treatment right away, a broken arm usually heals well.

    Call Doctor If:

    You think your child has a broken arm. Symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, and refusal to move the arm.

    1. Examine the Injury

    • Do not try to straighten the arm.
    • If the bone has broken through the skin, do not touch it. Drape gauze or a clean diaper over the injury, apply pressure to control the bleeding, and get emergency help.

    2. Make a Splint

    • Don't try to straighten the arm. Try to keep it still and don't move it.
    • Put some soft padding around the arm, like a soft cloth.
    • Splint the wrapped arm with a ruler, newspaper, or magazine to keep it from moving too much.
    • Gently wrap cloth or tape around the splint and wrapping to hold them together.
    • Make sure the splint and wrapping aren't cutting off circulation.

    3. Get Help

    If your child may have a broken arm, go to the pediatrician's office or the emergency room.

    4. Reduce Swelling and Pain

    • While waiting to see a doctor, put a wrapped ice pack or ice in a towel on the arm for a few minutes at a time.
    • If possible, keep your child's arm elevated.
    • Check with a doctor before using any pain reliever.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 15, 2015

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