Broken bones (or fractures) are a common injury in kids. They often happen after a fall. All broken bones need medical care, no matter how small it seems. Signs & Symptoms of a Broken Bone Your child may have a broken bone if: you heard a "snap" or a grinding noise during an injury there's swelling, bruising, or tenderness the injured part is difficult to move or hurts when moving, being touched, or bearing weight What to Do Take clothing off the injured area. Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth. Keep the injured limb in the position you find it. Put a simple splint on the broken area if you have one. A splint holds the bone still. This protects it until the child is seen by the doctor. To make a splint, you can use a small board, cardboard, or folded up newspapers. Wrap it with an elastic bandage or tape. Get medical care. Don't let your child eat or drink in case they need surgery. Do Not Move Your Child and Call 911 Right Away If: You suspect a serious injury to the head, neck, or back. A broken bone comes through the skin. While waiting for help: Keep your child lying down. Do not wash the wound or push in any part that's sticking out. Think Prevention! Not every fracture can be prevented. But you can make a break less likely. Follow these tips: Use safety gates at bedroom doors and at both the top and bottom of stairs (for babies or toddlers). Follow helmet and safety gear rules for young athletes and any child riding a bicycle, tricycle, skateboard, scooter, or any type of skates and roller blades. Do not use infant walkers. Back to Articles Related Articles Broken Bones Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Here's what to expect. Read More Household Safety: Preventing Injuries From Falling, Climbing, and Grabbing Here's how to help protect kids from a dangerous fall or a tumble into a sharp edge in your home. Read More First Aid: Falls Although most result in mild bumps and bruises, some falls can cause serious injuries that need medical attention. Read More How Broken Bones Heal Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal, especially in kids. Full healing can take time, but new bone usually forms a few weeks after an injury. Read More Casts Casts keep bones and other tissues in place while they heal. Here's what to expect, and how to care for casts. Read More Broken Collarbone (Clavicle Fracture) Learn about broken collarbones (or clavicle fractures), a common sports injury in kids. Read More Dealing With Sports Injuries You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them. Read More Broken Bones What happens when you break a bone? Read More Your Bones Where would you be without your bones? Learn more about the skeletal system in this article for kids. Read More Broken Bones Bones are tough stuff - but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures. Read More Casts Some injuries will heal best if a cast is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids. Read More What's a Funny Bone? You've banged your elbow and it feels tingly and strange. Find out why in this article for kids. Read More Bones, Muscles, and Joints Our bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.