The most common leg and arm injuries are fractures, sprains, strains and bruises. Some injuries can be treated at home, while others need to be treated or checked by your healthcare provider. Read the injury descriptions below and follow the instructions for care.
A fracture is a break or crack in the bone and needs to be treated by a doctor. If you think your child has a broken bone, follow the first aid instructions below.
Sprains are stretches or tears of ligaments (bands of tissue that connect one bone to another). They are caused by sudden twisting injuries and require medical attention (unless they are very mild). Knees and ankles are often sprained.
Treat most sports injuries with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for the first 24 to 48 hours.
Strains are stretches, pulls, or tears of muscles. They are usually caused by overexertion (for example, when several muscles hurt after a strenuous practice, athletic game, or long hike). Most muscle injuries can be cared for safely at home.
Your child should learn about stretching exercises and return to exercise gradually. Next time, your child should be in better condition before going full throttle. Getting back in condition takes at least 7 days.
Bruises of muscles are the most common injury in contact sports and can also be treated at home. Bone bruises usually follow direct blows to the bone in exposed areas (for example, the elbow, hip, or knee) and are usually minor injuries.
Call IMMEDIATELY if:
Call during office hours if: