- You or your child hears a snap or grinding noise as the injury occurs
- Your child experiences swelling, bruising, or tenderness to the injured area
- It is painful for your child to move it, touch it, or press on it
- The injured part looks deformed
What Happens Next?
- Call 911 – If your child has an ‘open break’ where the bone has punctured the skin, if they are unresponsive, if there is bleeding or if there have been any injuries to the spine, neck or head, call 911. Remember, better safe than sorry! If you do call 911, do not let the child eat or drink anything, as surgery may be required.
- Stop the Bleeding – Use a sterile bandage or cloth and compression to stop or slow any bleeding.
- Apply Ice – Particularly if the broken bone has remained under the skin, treat the swelling and pain with ice wrapped in a towel. As usual, remember to never place ice directly on the skin.
- Don’t Move the Bone – It may be tempting to try to set the bone yourself to put your child out of pain, particularly if the bone has broken through the skin, do not do this! You risk injuring your child further. Leave the bone in the position it is in.