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How to Care for Your Child’s Foot Fracture

Oct 02, 2023
Fractures are common in kids, especially when they're active — but what do you do when they break a bone? Read on to learn more about pediatric fractures and what steps to take initially after the injury.

Kids are active, running around at recess, climbing trees, and crawling everywhere. The adventurous nature of kids is amazing to watch — until they end up with a broken bone.

Luckily, kids' bones are growing, so they're a little more flexible than adults. However, a broken bone is no laughing matter and requires treatment as soon as possible to prevent long-term complications.

Caring for your child's fracture before you’re able to get medical help is a crucial aspect of their well-being.

If your child has a broken foot, the Toe-Tal Foot and Ankle Care team is here to help. Dr. Daniel Cairns is an expert podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon specializing in pediatric foot care.

Dr. Cairns provides your child with the best care possible to treat their foot fracture quickly and efficiently.

Signs and symptoms of a fracture

Broken bones are an unfortunate part of life, especially for kids. There are various types of fractures children may experience, some of which are worse than others.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of a fracture as a parent is essential because kids can present differently than adults. Their bones are more flexible while growing, making it harder to tell if your child has suffered a broken bone.

Pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with fractures in kids. Foot fractures are especially painful when your child tries to walk on the affected foot. Other symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Swelling
  • Visible deformity
  • Bruising
  • Bone protruding from the skin
  • Inability to use the injured body part

The type of symptoms your child experiences depends on the severity of the fracture. Minor fractures may only produce mild pain and bruising, while more severe fractures lead to extreme swelling and distinct pain.

Caring for your child's fracture at home

If you suspect your child has broken their foot, you must understand how to take care of it until you can get to the hospital. The type of care depends on the fracture's severity and your child's age.

Some children are too young to express what's bothering them, so you may not know they have a broken bone unless you see the injury. However, severe fractures may present with a deformity to the foot or ankle.

The best thing you can do for your child is comfort them while maintaining stability in the injured foot. If you can, make a make-shift splint to keep the foot still and protect it from moving, which can lead to more pain and damage.

Your child's fractured foot will likely be swollen and painful. Use ice on older kids to help reduce inflammation and help manage pain. However, avoid ice on tiny children, as it can damage their skin.

It's also vital not to allow your child to eat or drink anything before a doctor evaluates the injury at the hospital. Severe fractures may require surgery, and your child shouldn't have anything in their stomach if they need surgical repair.

If you notice a wound by the foot fracture or bone protruding from the skin, don't attempt to push the bone back in. Cover the area with sterile gauze if you have it, and head to the nearest emergency room immediately.

At the emergency room, a doctor evaluates your child's foot fracture and orders an X-ray to view the damage to the bone. Once the doctor confirms the fracture, you can expect different types of treatment.

Pain control, casting or splinting, and bone reset may be necessary for foot fractures. This can be done in the ER or the operating room under anesthesia if necessary.

Your child breaking a bone is the last thing you want, but the Toe-Tal Foot and Ankle Care team is here to help. Call our office in Watauga, Texas, today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cairns, or send the team a message on our website.