The bones of a child are more resistant to breaking than those of an adult; however they do break and you should know how to spot a broken bone.
Naturally, if you are present when your child is injured, and you hear a snapping sound, the bone is most likely broken.
If you are not present at the time of the injury, check for swelling and tenderness. This alone does not indicate a break, but are usually the first symptoms. The area of the injury will have severe pain that increases when your child tries to move it. There could also be bruising and stiffness. Another indication is that your child will resist moving the limb. But, keep in mind that even if your child can move the bone, it still may be broken. Lastly, if the limb or joint looks disfigured it needs medical attention.
If your child’s injury is swollen and a little tender, but you believe it is not broken, treat with ice packs and pain reliever, and watch for increasing symptoms. If there is no improvement or the injury gets worse, seek medical attention.
If you’re having trouble deciding if your child has a broken bone, you should also take him in to be checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry!