How to Handle a Sprained or Broken Wrist

So my daughter came home from school that day, put her head on the counter. She shuffled the iPOD and she played the "Had a Bad Day" song. Honest. I'm not kidding.

So I knew I needed to take her in. Also all my co-worker friends, school drop-off friends and far-away friends through facebook advised me to get her in to the doctor for evaluation. It was so wonderful to be able to get so many stories and suggestions so easily without making a million calls. Plus I felt like a not-so-bad mom. Thanks all!

It turned out to be a sprain not a break. But let me share what I learned. If your child falls from the monkey bars or otherwise appears to have done something serious to his or her wrist, follow these steps.

1. Don't Panic. Calm down. Now calm your child.

2. Evaluate the situation. Ask your daughter if she can flex her wrist up and down. If she can do that. See if she can squeeze your hand. Next have her touch her nose. This is part of calming your child, distracting her attention.

3. Get your child home and ice it. If it still appears to hurt, and it is during office hours call your pediatrician and schedule a visit to come in that day. If it is after office hours and your child has stopped screaming and seems otherwise OK it may be alright to schedule an appointment the next day. Running to the Emergency room is for really serious emergencies. This is not one. (If your child has stopped screaming) (But I'm not a doctor this is not medical advice--use your judgement)

4. Give your child some children's Motrin or Tylenol. (If you later find it is a break, Tylenol is better for healing than Motrin). Follow package directions.

5. Consult your doctor. The pediatrician asked my daughter to move her wrist and arms several different ways. Then he compared the wrist side-by-side with the good wrist. He was looking for swelling. It seems the swelling is the indicator of breakage. The doctor's office wrote us an order for an x-ray. This is another reason not to go to the emergency room. It was so much faster to get the order, take it to the outpatient x-ray and be on our way. Plus our doctor now also has the records of her injury.

6. Follow your doctors orders. The doctor told us to give two children's Motion as per the label. He also advised us to get a brace. The CVS had them in a small size which fit her wrist perfectly. He also advised us to ice it. (I forgot, but I shared it here). We would get a call if it was a break and we'd be scheduled with the orthopedist for a cast. If we didn't get a call it wasn't. Either way she should take it easy for two weeks. No break--yea! She's already back playing kickball though she still favors it and does not use it as much. So all's well that ends well. Bad mom redeemed.

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