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Hand Fracture In Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A hand fracture is a break in one of the bones in the hand. These include the bones in the wrist, fingers, and those that connect the wrist to the fingers. The most commonly fractured hand bones in children are the fingers. The long bone between the wrist and finger is another common type of hand fracture in children.
- Pain medicine: Your child may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give this medicine to your child.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- 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 healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
Bathing with a cast or splint:
Ask when it is okay for your child to bathe. Do not let the cast or splint get wet. Cover the cast or splint with 2 plastic trash bags. Tape the bags to your child's skin above the cast to seal out the water. Have your child keep his arm out of the water in case the bag breaks. Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if the cast gets wet. Dry the cast with a hairdryer set on low or no heat.
Cast or splint care:
- Check the skin around the cast or splint every day for redness or sores. Numb or tingly fingers may mean the splint is too tight. Gently loosen the tape on the splint.
- Do not let your child push down or lean on any part of the cast or splint, because it may break.
- Do not let your child use a sharp or pointed object to scratch his skin under the cast or splint.
Help your child's hand heal:
- Rest: Your child may need to rest his hand and avoid activities that cause pain.
- Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel, and place it on your child's hand for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child's cast has new blood stains or a foul smell.
- Your child has more swelling than he did before the cast or splint was put on.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child has increased pain that does not go away with pain medicine.
- Your child's cast breaks or is damaged.
- Your child's hand or forearm feels numb.
- Your child's skin or fingernails become swollen, cold, or turn white or blue.
- Blood soaks through your child's splint or cast.
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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.