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Arm Fracture In Children


An arm fracture is a crack or break in one or more of the bones in your child's arm.



  • Pain medicine: Your child may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give your child his medicine.

  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not helping or if he has side effects. Tell your child's healthcare provider if your child takes any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines he takes. Include the amounts, and when and why he takes them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.

  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or bone specialist within 1 week:

Your child may need to see a bone specialist within 3 to 4 days if he needs surgery or further treatment for his arm fracture. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.


Ice decreases swelling and pain. Put crushed iced in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel. Put the ice pack over his splint or cast for 15 to 20 minutes every hour. Do this for as many days as directed.

How to bathe with a cast or splint:

Follow directions about when your child can bathe. Do not get your child's cast or splint wet. Before he bathes, cover his cast or splint with a plastic bag. Tape the bag to your child's skin to keep water out. Hold your child's arm away from the water in case the bag leaks.

Care for your child's arm when it is in a cast or splint:

  • Check your child's skin around his cast or splint daily for any redness or open areas.

  • Do not use a sharp or pointed object to scratch the skin under the cast or splint.

Physical therapy:

A physical therapist can teach your child exercises to help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your child's risk for loss of function.

Contact your child's primary healthcare provider or bone specialist if:

  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child complains that his cast is too tight.

  • You notice a bad smell coming from under your child's cast.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's injury, treatment, or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • The pain in your child's injured arm does not get better or gets worse, even after rest and medicine.

  • Your child's cast breaks or is damaged.

  • Your child's arm, hand, or fingers feel numb.

  • You see blood on your child's splint or cast.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Arm Fracture In Children (Aftercare Instructions)