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Foot Fracture in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A foot fracture is a break in a bone in your child's foot.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child has increased pain that does not go away even after he or she takes pain medicine.
- Your child's cast breaks or is damaged.
- Your child's leg or toes feel numb.
- Your child's skin or toenails become swollen, cold, or turn white or blue.
- Blood soaks through your child's splint or cast.
Call your child's doctor or bone specialist if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child's cast has new blood stains or a foul smell.
- Your child has more swelling than before a cast or splint was put on.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Your child may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to give this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not give your child other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to a healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- 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.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her 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.
Cast or splint care:
- Ask when it is okay for your child to take a bath or shower. Do not let the cast or splint get wet. Before your child bathes, cover the cast or splint with a plastic bag. Tape the bag to your child's skin above the splint to seal out water. Have your child keep his or her foot out of the water in case the bag leaks.
- Check the skin around your child's cast or splint daily for any redness or open areas.
- Do not let your child use a sharp or pointed object to scratch skin under the cast.
- Do not remove your child's splint unless his or her healthcare provider or bone specialist says it is okay.
Help your child's foot heal:
- Have your child rest his or her foot and avoid activities that cause pain.
- Apply ice to decrease swelling and pain, and to prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your child's foot. Use ice for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Elevate your child's foot above the level of his or her heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop the foot on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Your child may be given a hard-soled shoe to wear while the foot is healing. He or she also may need to use crutches to help him or her walk while the foot heals. It is important to use your crutches correctly. Ask for more information about how to use crutches.
Follow up with your child's doctor or bone specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.
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