Ways of treating a sprain in children
A sprain happens when the ligament which is the elastic tissue connecting two bones, will over stretch or tears partially or completely. Children are susceptible to get a sprain because they perform lots of physical activities such as jumping, running and playing but they can also be sprained from accidents such as getting hit by moving objects. Sprains can happen in any areas of the body where there is a muscle, joint, ligament and bone. Ankle, wrist, knee and thumb sprain are also common in children.
Symptoms of sprains in children
- Pain and warmth in the affected area to prevent growth of bacteria
- Damage to the ligament and other structures and result to internal bleeding or bruising and swelling.
- Difficulty moving the damaged joint or limited range of motion
- Give the child plenty of rest. Avoid activities that cause further damage to the area for fast healing of the condition.
- Apply a compression bandage to a sprained ankle. Begin wrapping the bottom of the child’s toe using an elastic bandage that will not unravel. Continue the wrap until the top of the ankle and make a figure 8 wrap. The heel and toes should be exposed and then secure the wrap using a metal clasp. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation. If the toes become blue, loosen the wrap.
- Wrap a sprained wrist using an Ace bandage around the forearm of the child. Begin wrapping at the bottom of the fingers until the forearm, stop near the elbow. Overlap the bandage about ½ of the width of the first applied wrap. Avoid wrapping it too tight. If the wrist becomes blue and there is numbness or numbness loosens the wrap it feels snug.
- Utilize splints and an elastic bandage to restrain the area, prevent unnecessary movements and fast healing of the condition. To splint an ankle sprain, prepare three pieces of cardboard with the same sizes. Put one cardboard under the foot of the child and another on either sides of the ankle. Wrap the splint using the sock to make it secure. To splint a knee sprain, place a cardboard at back of the knee. The cardboard should be long that the leg cannot be flex. Then wrap the sock around the splint. To splint a wrist sprain, place a cardboard under the wrist of the child. The cardboard should be long so that the wrist does not flex. Wrap the area using a sock starting from the palmar crease until the forearm of the child.
- After 48 hours, a cold compress can be applied for at least 5-20 minutes, every 2-4 hours every day to lessen the pain and the swelling. Avoid ice directly on the skin.
- Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart for proper flow of blood in the area and for fast healing of the condition. Raise the affected in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on sprains in children is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage sprains by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.