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Clavicle Fracture In Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A clavicle fracture is a crack or break in the clavicle (collarbone). A clavicle fracture is the most common bone fracture in children.
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
- 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.
- Tetanus shot: This is medicine to keep your child from getting tetanus if the fracture also has an open wound. Your child should have a tetanus shot if he has not had one in the past 5 to 10 years. Your child's arm can get red, swollen, and sore after getting this shot.
- 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.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your child:
Encourage your child to rest. Slowly let him start to do more each day. He will need to avoid contact sports, such as football, while his clavicle heals. He may need to see a physical therapist to teach him special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease his risk for loss of function. He can return to his daily activities as directed.
Put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Wrap the ice bag with a towel. Place the ice bag on your child's swollen skin to decrease swelling, pain, and redness. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as long as your child needs it. Do not leave ice on the injured area for more than 20 minutes. Do not let your child sleep on the ice bag. This could cause frostbite.
Sling or splint care:
Your child may have a sling or a splint on to keep his clavicle still while it heals. Do not push down or lean on any part of the splint because it may break. If your child's splint is too tight, his fingers may be numb and tingly. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information on splint or sling care, including how to adjust his sling. Also find out how often your child's bandage needs to be changed if he has an open wound.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child has more swelling than he did before the splint was put on.
- Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- There are new blood stains or a bad smell coming from the fracture area.
- You have questions about your child's condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child's clavicle area, shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers turn blue or white, or feel cold or numb.
- Your child's pain is worse, even after he takes pain medicine.
- Your child's splint or sling becomes soaked with blood.
- Your child's splint gets damaged or breaks.
- Your child's splint or sling feels tighter, he has more swelling in his chest or shoulder area, or he cannot move his fingers.
- Your child's wound or bandage has pus or a bad smell, even after you clean it every day.
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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.