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Learn How to Handle Child Fractures With Tips From HSS Surgeon

Dr. David M. Scher of Hospital for Special Surgery.
Dr. David M. Scher of Hospital for Special Surgery. Photo Credit: HSS

PARAMUS, N.J. -- With the number of pediatric orthopedists trained to deal with the special bone, joint and tendon problems of children decreasing, more hospitals rely on general orthopedists to evaluate and treat pediatric injuries, such as fractures. Parents need to be aware of how to get the right treatment for their child’s injury in order to ensure the best outcome in the long run. 

Here are some early-stage actions parents can take if their child has a fracture.

Comfort -- The first step is to try and keep the child as comfortable as possible until you can see a doctor. If you suspect the child has a fracture, you should seek out immediate medical attention.

Ice and Elevation -- Putting ice on the extremity and elevating it above the heart can make a difference in the degree of swelling. Icing can also help enable a pediatric orthopedic surgeon’s ability to operate (if necessary) and can help avoid problems with wound healing.

Splinting -- Getting some type of rigid splint on an injured extremity is often the most effective way to initially control a child’s pain. Until the child can be seen by a medical professional, a makeshift splint with materials such as cardboard may be helpful. Just be careful that nothing is wrapped tightly around the limb. Anything used to secure the splint should be wrapped as loosely as possible.

Remain Calm -- Remaining calm for your child’s sake is essential. If you remain level headed, it will reassure your child.

If you suspect your child has a fracture, you should seek out medical attention at a facility with specialized pediatric care. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons have been specially trained in the most effective techniques to treat your child and are the best-qualified medical professionals to manage pediatric fractures.

Dr. David M. Scher specializes in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery, with special interests in children’s foot deformities. He currently practices at the HSS Outpatient Center in Paramus and the hospital’s Manhattan campus.