Is my child’s bone broken?
Signs of a broken bone beyond, “Can you move it?”
Childhood injuries are very common. Falls and bumps and bruises are normal. If your child doesn’t have a few bumps here and there, they probably aren’t playing enough.
With each injury, parents commonly find themselves asking each other, “Do you think it’s broken?”
Broken bones are one of the most common types of injuries in children that need treatment.
They most commonly occur in the arms.
They can be the result of direct contact with something but are also common with falls where the child tries to catch themselves with their hands.
A common quote, “Well, he could move it so I know it wasn’t broken.”
If only it were that easy.
Here are some signs that your child might have a broken bone (we’ll start with the obvious and move to the less obvious):
- The bone is sticking out of the skin.
- The extremity is crooked.
- There is severe swelling or pain (if leg injury, is not able to put weight on it).
- The pain is not severe but does not steadily improve over a few days.
If you find yourself unsure or you have questions, give your Cook Children’s pediatrician a call. They can do an exam to determine if an x-ray is necessary and get your child the treatment they need.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . View more from The Doc Smitty at his Facebook page. He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.