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.
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.