Arm Injury: Helping your child in the healing process.

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Children indulge in many physical activities, thus, can hurt themselves. One such common injury is arm injury. We can define symptoms of Arm injury as the following:

  1. Injuries to the hand(shoulder to hand)
  2. Injuries to a bone, muscle, joint or ligament.

Above injuries are quite common. How do we determine the severity of the situation? Following are segregations based on the severity of arm injury.

Call 911(Critical)

  • Serious injury with many broken bones: This is a grave situation which requires immediate action.
  • Major bleeding that can't be stopped: If the injury triggers excessive bleeding which cannot be stopped, parents should seek medical help.
  • Bone is sticking through the skin: This severe condition requires immediate medical attention or the injury may develop more complications.
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency: Sometimes the child cannot distinguish whether the injury is developing into something severe. Parents should contact 911 in such situations.

 Go to ER now(High)

  • Can't move the shoulder, elbow or wrist at all: The arm injury renders the child helpless to move his arm at all. In that case, the parent should seek an ER immediately.
  • Looks like a broken bone (crooked or deformed): Any unusual swell or deformity in the arm injury can indicate a broken bone. This requires proper examination of the injury.
  • Looks like a dislocated joint: Dislocated joint worsens the situation for the child. The excruciating injury can be dealt in an ER.
  • Large deep cut that will need many stitches: Deep cuts are beyond the home remedies. Deep cuts can involve further complications. Seek an ER in such situations.

 Call Doctor or Seek Care(Moderate)

  • Can't move the shoulder, elbow or wrist normally: The effects of arm injury can spread till shoulders or wrists. Consult a doctor to know the solution of the problem.
  • Collarbone is painful and can't raise arm over head: Arm injury locks the arm movement to a certain point only. Usual arm movements may restrict due to pain or swelling in the arm. In such situations, consult a doctor.
  • Can't open and close the hand normally: Going forward with the above point, the movement restrictions of your arm can spread till the hand as well. The child finds it hard to close or open the hand properly. Seek help from a doctor in such cases.
  • Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches: A skin split causes panic in the child. If you think your child needs medical attention beyond the home remedy, seek a doctor.

What you should know as a parent?

Arm injury is a common injury in children. It can happen during physical activities. Proper care and medical help can help in the healing process. Following are few practices parents can adopt for their child’s care:

  1. Pain Medicine:
  2. Small Cut or Scrape Treatment:
    • Use direct pressure to stop any bleeding. Do this for 10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
    • Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes. Try to rinse the cut under running water.
    • Gently scrub out any dirt with a washcloth.
    • Use an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin). No prescription is needed. Then, cover it with a bandage. Change daily.
  3. Cold Pack for Pain:
    • For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth.
    • Put it on the sore muscles for 20 minutes.
    • Repeat 4 times on the first day, then as needed.
    • Reason: Helps the pain and helps stop any bleeding.
    • Caution: Avoid frostbite.
  4. Use Heat After 48 Hours:
    • If pain lasts over 2 days, put heat on the sore muscle.
    • Use a heat pack, heating pad or warm wet washcloth.
    • Do this for 10 minutes, then as needed.
    • Reason: Increase blood flow and improve healing.
    • Caution: Avoid burns.
  5. Rest the Arm:
    • Rest the injured arm as much as possible for 48 hours.

Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


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