Broken bones (or fractures) are a common injury, especially after a fall. No matter what part might be broken or how big or small the injury may seem, all broken bones need medical care. Here's what to do if you or someone you are with might have a broken bone. Signs & Symptoms of a Broken Bone A bone might be broken 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 Remove clothing from the injured area. Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth. Do not attempt to move or reposition the injured limb. Place a simple splint, if you have one, on the broken area. A splint holds the bone still and protects it until you see a doctor. To make a temporary splint, you can use a small board, cardboard, or folded up newspapers and wrap it with an elastic bandage or tape. Get medical care. The injured person should not eat or drink in case surgery is required. Call 911 Right Away If: You or someone else had a serious injury to the head, neck, or back. A broken bone comes through the skin. While waiting for help: The injured person should lie 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: Wear the safety gear designed for any sport you play. Follow helmet and safety gear rules when you ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, or use any type of skates and roller blades. Always wear a seat belt. Back to Articles Related Articles Broken Bones Bones are tough stuff - but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures. Read More Casts This article for teens has tips on taking care of a cast so it keeps working as it should. Read More Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how. Read More Broken Collarbone (Clavicle Fracture) A broken collarbone is one of the most common types of broken bones. Find out how it can happen - and how to treat and avoid fractures. Read More Stress Fractures It's not always easy to tell if you have a stress fracture, and stress fractures can get worse quickly. This article explains how to prevent and treat them. Read More ATV Safety ATVs provide off-road fun. But with the thrills come big risks like rollovers and collisions. Here are tips for teens on staying safe. Read More Bike Safety The sun is shining - why not dust off your bike and go for a ride? Before you hit the trail, though, read these tips on the right type of bike and gear you will need. Read More The Keys to Defensive Driving These defensive driving skills can help you avoid the dangers caused by other people's bad driving. 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.