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On a slippery slope: winter injuries in children

On a slippery slope: winter injuries in children

The most common cause of childhood injuries in the winter is a fall. Toddlers who are still poorly developed coordination of movements, can flop and slippery due to icy path, and fall from the sled or snow-scooter, rolling down the hill. Fortunately, in most cases such cases are without serious consequences.

After all, bones and ligaments in crumbs contain a lot of water and organic compounds, so that they are more flexible and elastic than in adults. In addition, the small height and small weight of the karapuz, together with a decent layer of subcutaneous fat, reduce the force of impact when falling and soften it.

For this reason, babies often have bruises, sprains and sprains of the limbs; fractures are much less common and occur without displacement of bone fragments. Open fractures are very rare.

The most common injury in the winter is a bruise, that is, soft tissue damage from a blow or falling without disturbing the integrity of the skin. It would seem that the damage is very light, it seems to pass by itself, nevertheless, it is not worth ignoring it.

At the time of impact on the skin appears purple spot – a bruise. This happens because the walls of the blood vessels do not stand up and burst, but the blood remains under the skin. As a rule, on the protruding parts of the body, for example on the thighs, bruises are large (they are called hematomas).

Edema may also appear on the site of the injury. When you touch it, the baby will feel pain.

If a child can easily move a bruised arm or leg, then the ligaments, joints and bones are intact. Apply an ice compress to the bruise for 15–20 minutes – ice or “snowball” wrapped in a clean napkin or a clean handkerchief.

You can also place the bruised place under a stream of cold water. Such a measure will reduce pain and inflammation.

If this does not happen, take a short pause and apply a cold compress again. Note: cold helps only during the first 48 hours after injury.

Later, on the contrary, it is necessary to resort to the help of heat. It is recommended to apply a warming and anesthetic ointment (for example, “Fastum-gel”) to the site of injury. Note that these ointments are forbidden to apply to an open wound.

Under no circumstances should edema be rubbed or massaged. Such actions can lead to blockage of a vein by a blood clot.

When the pain passes, so that the bruise resolves faster, draw an iodine grid on it. An improvement will be signaled by the color of the hematoma: from lilac it will turn greenish and then yellow.

It usually takes several days.

When there is a bone under the bruised place, for example on the lower leg, a lump appears along with the bruise. If the baby complains of severe pain, show it to the surgeon to rule out a fracture.

If the lump does not cause much concern, do the same with bruises. The swelling will subside after 2–3 days, but the bruise in its place will show off much longer.

On a slippery slope: winter injuries in children

Another “popular” injury in infants is stretching. This term refers to damage to the articular ligaments that hold the bones in the joints. Children under the age of 3 often get an ankle sprain when tilted inward during an awkward movement of the foot.

First, the baby feels a sharp pain, which gradually subsides. Then on the outer surface of the damaged joint appears swelling, painful to the touch, sometimes in this place the skin becomes bluish tint.

It is possible to move the injured limb, but movements cause suffering.

As a rule, stretching is treated at home. To immobilize the joint and avoid a tendon rupture, a pressure bandage is applied to the injured site.

A cold compress can help relieve swelling. After first aid, it is advisable to show the child to the surgeon or traumatologist, because dislocation sometimes occurs along with a sprain.

If after a medical examination the diagnosis of “stretching” is confirmed, the doctor will recommend warming ointments and gels.

Recovery may take 1–2 weeks. The main thing at this time is to protect the injured limb and allow it to recover.

Although bones and joints in young children are more flexible than in adults, crumbs do not rarely have sprains. This term refers to the displacement of two bones in a joint, when they no longer touch each other.

The most frequent injury from the discharge of dislocations in children 2–3 years old is subluxation of the head of the radial bone in the elbow joint.

Imagine an idyllic picture: a crumb walks alongside mom, holding her hand tightly. And suddenly, slipping, begins to fall. To support him, Mom abruptly jerks the hand of the toddler up.

As a result, the joint is displaced. This is due to soft and untrained cartilage, weak muscles and the most common relaxation during a walk.

Usually, the cry of sudden pain is attributed to adults by falling and severe bruising. There is another danger in this incorrect “diagnosis”. The kid often cannot explain that his knee does not hurt, but his shoulder.

So parents should inspect the child after such an incident. If the hand hangs along the body and is turned to it by the outer side of the palm, it means that there was a subluxation of the radial head. Without changing the position of the arm, lock it, pinned to the body.

Immediately take the child to the emergency room or hospital. Only the surgeon can fix the damaged bone.

Repeated injury of the same joint can lead to the so-called habitual dislocation. With such a condition, even a small load provokes injury.

To avoid this, it is recommended to use special “leashes” -shleyki. They cover both hands through the armpits and have a short arm on the back.

Dislocations of the shoulder, bones of the leg, thigh, or ankle are much less common in babies. Signs of damage: swelling and pain in the place of the joint, the limb occupies an unnatural position.

In any case, at the slightest suspicion of dislocation, immediately call an ambulance or go to the emergency room. Do not try to check the damaged joint, let alone reset it.

Before the arrival of the medical team, in order to reduce swelling, apply an ice compress to this place for 5 minutes. Regardless of the fact that the child has injured – an arm or a leg, the injured limb must be fixed.

Arm – a bandage bandage, ankle or knee – splint. If you have a hip dislocation, put the baby on a healthy side and do not let it move.

On a slippery slope: winter injuries in children

Ice can also cause a serious limb injury – a fracture. This is a violation of the integrity of the bone as a result of a direct blow or fall. The age of the child affects not only the probability of a fracture, but also at exactly where it occurs.

In children under 3 years old, for example, the weakest point is the thigh bones. If older children fall on the exposed arm, the kid first touches the ground or ice, especially the thigh. Little ones who stand on skis or skates, under unfavorable circumstances, can break a shin, ankle or arm.

The trick is that the shoe fixes the foot, and when it falls, the torso often unfolds. Because of this, an oblique or helical fracture of the lower leg or ankle is formed.

If the baby falls on a straight arm exposed with the palm down, a fracture of the bones of the forearm occurs. Fractures of the finger and collarbone also occur quite often.

The cunning of childhood limb fractures is that their signs may not be obvious and the doctor may be mistaken. The younger the crumb, the more difficult it is to make the correct diagnosis.

After all, even having broken a hip, the baby can sometimes walk, and, having broken a hand, can move it. The fact is that the periosteum (the sheath covering the bone outside) is still soft, elastic and dense.

Therefore, bone fractures often occur as a “green line”. Outwardly, it looks like the bone is bent and broken. Under such a scenario, bone fragments are shifted slightly, the bone breaks only on one side, on the other hand, the thick periosteum holds the bone fragments.

Such a fracture is called closed and it is detected only on x-rays. The main symptom – the limb is swollen and deformed, at the slightest movement the child experiences severe pain. The fracture of the clavicle completely paralyzes the movement of the arm on whose side the bone is injured.

Most often the child is excited, crying loudly.

At the slightest suspicion of a fracture, immediately call an ambulance or immediately take the baby to the emergency room. Only a traumatologist should diagnose and treat the victim, because in children the fracture line can go through the zones of bone growth that are located along the edges of the bone.

This may prevent the bones from developing further normally.

On a slippery slope: winter injuries in children

The task of the parents is to fix the damaged area and apply a cold compress from above. If the crumb has damaged the leg, lay it down and gently place it under it, trying not to move the limb, roller or rolled-up clothes.

If a broken bone comes out and the wound bleeds, that is, an open fracture has occurred, the task of adults is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. To do this, cut clothes or shoes over the wound and cover the wound with sterile gauze or just a clean cloth.

Then you should bandage the affected area, but not tight, so as not to damage the bone.

In the emergency room or hospital, the child must be X-rayed – this is the standard diagnostic method for suspected fracture. The picture will help to accurately determine the type of fracture and the position of the bone fragments.

Depending on this, the doctor will determine the tactics of treatment. In most cases, plaster is applied to the fracture site.

In most cases, the fracture is treated in a conservative way, imposing a plaster on this place. But in difficult cases, doctors can resort to surgery.

Since in children, the bones quickly grow together, most often a plaster splint is applied to the fracture site — a bandage that does not cover the entire circumference of the bone, but only a part of it. As a rule, during a fracture without moving the bones, hospitalization is not needed, the baby stays at home.

If everything goes according to plan, it will be necessary to visit the traumatologist at the emergency room at the place of residence once every 5–7 days.

When the bone fragments are displaced during a fracture, the surgeon adjusts them (this is called reposition). This procedure lasts only a few minutes, but may require surgery under general anesthesia. After her baby for a few days left in the hospital under the supervision of a doctor.

After being discharged from the hospital, the child, until everything grows together, will again visit the traumatologist.

In some cases, in order to prevent secondary displacement of bones, they are fixed with needles, on top of which they impose a plaster cast, or other metal structures (for example, an external fixation device) and plates. This is the so-called osteosynthesis method.

3-5 days after the operation, the baby is discharged home under the supervision of a specialist in the emergency room at the place of residence.

While there is development of the limb, if possible, limit games with peers. In order to avoid trouble, after removing the plaster for 7–10 days, it is better to leave the injured arm on a supporting scarf bandage.

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