How to Know if a Bone is Broken in Children

Most everyone I know has either fractured a bone or knows someone who has!  The term “fracture” may sound serious, but it is just another term for a broken bone.  Fact is, broken bones are very common, especially in childhood.  Did you know broken bones are actually the fourth most common injury among children under age 6?

Most bone fractures in children happen due to falls, but that doesn’t mean that every fall results in a broken bone!  If a child’s fall is greater than their height, there is greater risk of injury.  It’s not always easy to determine if a fracture has occured, so just exactly how do you know if a bone is broken?

If a bone is fractured:

  • There may have been a snap or grinding noise during the injury.
  • You will usually see swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the injured area.
  • There will most likely be some pain involved.
  • Watch for signs of a child favoring their injured limb.
  • There can be a visible deformity, like a bump or change in the shape of the bone.  However, if the broken bone is not displaced (when the pieces on either side of the break are out of line), it may be more difficult to determine if the bone is actually fractured.
  • Most importantly – visit your doctor.  Only an x-ray will confirm if you have a broken bone!  If after an x-ray, your child is still complaining of pain or something just isn’t quite right, do not hesitate to ask for another x-ray after 7-10 days.  By that time, calcium “ribbons” will be visible.  Calcium ribbons occur only when a bone has broken or suffered a greenstick fracture (a mild bone fracture or bone bend.)

If you suspect a broken bone, do your very best to keep the injured area still, until you know for sure what type of orthopedic injury you are dealing with.  Once you know you’re dealing with a fracture and have been casted, you’ll definitely want to visit CastCoverz!  CastCoverz! provides fun and functional products that comfort orthopedic patients, from cast covers and walking boot covers, to colored crutches and CrutchWear crutch accessories, we’ve got you covered!  OH, and don’t forget you’ll need to keep that cast DRY with DryPro waterproof cast protector and for some much needed relief from that itchy, stinky cast, try CastCooler!

Feel better, heal better and stay tuned for “How to Know if a Bone is Broken in Adults“, coming soon in our next post!




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