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What to Do If Your Child Has a Fracture

Broken arm in cast

With the number of pediatric orthopedists trained to deal with the special bone, joint and tendon problems of children decreasing, more hospitals rely on general orthopedists to evaluate and treat pediatric injuries, such as fractures. Parents need to be aware of how to get the right treatment for their child’s injury in order to have the best outcome in the long run. Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons Daniel Green, MD, David Scher, MD, and Roger Widmann, MD, provide the following tips on what you should do if your child has a fracture.

  • Comfort: The first step is to try and keep the child as comfortable as possible until you can see a doctor. If you suspect the child has a fracture, you should seek out immediate medical attention.
  • Ice and Elevation: Putting ice on the extremity and elevating it above the heart can make a difference in the degree of swelling. Icing can also affect a pediatric orthopedic surgeon’s ability to operate (if need be) and can help avoid problems with wound healing.
  • Splinting: Getting some type of rigid splint on an injured extremity is often the most effective way to initially control a child’s pain. Until the child is seen by a medical professional, a makeshift splint with materials such as cardboard may be helpful. Just be careful that nothing is wrapped tightly around the limb. Anything used to secure the splint should be wrapped as loosely as possible.
  • Stay Calm: Remaining calm for your child’s sake is essential. If you remain level-headed, it will reassure your child.

If you suspect your child has a fracture, you should seek out medical attention at a facility that has specialized pediatric care. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons have been specially trained in the most effective techniques to treat your child and are the best qualified medical professionals to manage pediatric fractures.


Dr. Daniel Green, HSS Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Daniel Green specializes in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery. He is currently director of the pediatric sports program for the Division of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at HSS. Dr. Green’s focus is to provide the finest, most advanced orthopedic care available, with expertise in areas such as pediatric sports injuries, pediatric fractures, and dislocations.





Dr. David Scher, pediatric orthopedic surgeon

Dr. David M. Scher specializes in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery, with special interests in children?s foot deformities including clubfoot, cerebral palsy, fractures in children and pediatric hip disorders. He serves as co-medical director of the Leon Root Motion Analysis Laboratory, where advanced technologies are used for both research and clinical decision making to improve how children walk.





Dr. Roger Widmann, pediatric orthopedic surgeon

Dr. Roger Widmann has been a member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Service at Hospital for Special Surgery since 1995 and the Chief of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Service since 2004. He is the Director of Pediatric Orthopaedic Trauma at New York Hospital, and is a member of the Scoliosis Service at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Topics: Pediatrics
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.