Whether at home, on the school playground, or on a field of play, active kids occasionally sustain injuries. Sometimes, those injuries result in broken bones. Breaks in kids can often result from falls (such as off a playset or a skateboard) where a child lands on their shoulder or leg, or braces for impact from the fall with their outstretched hand or forearm. Boys are more likely to sustain a fracture at some point in their childhood than girls, and roughly one in four children overall will break a bone at some point.
A few common childhood breaks include:
*Distal radius fractures (broken wrist)
*Clavicle fractures (broken collarbone)
*Humeral fractures (upper arm)
*Foot and lower leg fractures
Tension fractures, or Greenstick fractures, are also quite common. In these injuries, the bone is pulled away too far to one side. Again, because of the developing nature of a child’s bones, the bone may pull because of the tension without breaking completely apart.
How to tell if your child has a broken bone
Tenderness, swelling or bruising
Pain or discomfort with or without movement
Visual disfigurement may occur, but is not always present after a break
How to treat a child’s broken bone
Most non-displaced childhood breaks may be treated by immobilizing the injured area with a cast for a period for three to four week. Your physician may request to see your child again at three and six months to ensure the bone has continued to properly heal. On rare occasions, surgery may be necessary. It is important to consult a pediatric orthopedist at Campbell Clinic to treat childhood fractures because they make occur near growth plates and affect future growth of the child’s bone.