A fracture is a break in a bone that may range from a thin crack to a complete break depending on the impact on it during a fall or an accident.
Fractures in children can be caused by:
• Injuries due to falls while playing
• Trauma due to an accident
• Overuse injuries during activities like dancing or sports
In what ways children’s bones are different from adults’?
• Flexibility: Children have more flexible bones
• Faster healing: The periosteum (a layer of connective tissue around the bone) is thicker in children that provides a better blood supply helping in faster repair of fractures
• Growth plates: Growth plates are areas at the ends of long bones in children from where they grow
Symptoms of Fractures
Symptoms may occur differently in each child, and it also depends on the type and severity of the fracture.
Pain with swelling of the area affected
Deformity of the bone
Difficulty moving the affected part
Bruising or redness of the area
Diagnosing a fracture
Imaging is necessary to check for any abnormalities of the bone and the surrounding area. This is done using:
Treatment of Fractures
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the fracture, as well as the age of the child. An open fracture, in which the bone breaks through the skin, requires immediate treatment.
Give first aid treatment to provide comfort to your child. It also helps reduce swelling and gives relief until the fracture is treated. Consider the following first-aid treatment options.
Give them immediate pain relief medication (like paracetamol or ibuprofen)
Reduce the movement of the injured area by applying a splint or a sling
Apply an icepack to the injury
Elevate the limb
These are the ways doctors treat a fracture-
Splints or casts: To keep the bone in place while it heals
Surgery: It may be needed to put broken pieces of the bone back into place with metal rods or pins for support
Traction: Gentle stretching of the muscles and tendons around the bone for proper alignment
Medicines: To reduce pain and prevent infections
How can you help your child?
During and after recovery from fracture, make sure that your child:
Consumes a healthy diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D content
Takes proper care of the cast or plaster or splint
Follows the recommended medication, rest, and exercise schedule
Visits the doctor for all the follow-up appointments
Take away message
Fractures in childhood are most commonly due to injuries while playing. They differ from fractures in adults and also heal faster. Thus, recovery is easier if the right treatment is given on time.
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