When it comes to kids, accidents can always happen. This is especially true if you’ve got rambunctious little ones who like to tear around the house or the athletic field.
Since we can’t put them in head-to-toe bubble-wrap, we have to know what to do when an accident occurs. One of the most common types of injuries is a twisted ankle.
Is it a sprained ankle or broken ankle?
Sprains can hurt really badly and the first time a child experiences this pain, they may think they’ve broken their ankle. More than likely, you will find out it’s a sprain.
A sprained ankle is caused when the ligaments in your foot are pulled too much. Ligaments naturally have some “give” to them, but a sprain occurs when they are pulled too much sometimes causing them to tear.
There are actually 3 grades for sprains:
Grade 1—The least serious type, a grade 1 sprain is usually sore with some mild to moderate swelling.
Grade 2—In this type, the ligaments will tear partially, but not all the way. Putting weight on your foot is painful and the joint may not feel solid enough to support your body.
Grade 3—This one is really painful because the ligaments in your ankle are torn completely through. With a grade 3, you are looking at a longer recovery and you will not be able to support your weight on the foot for a while.
Broken ankle—This is entirely different as your bone actually cracks or snaps. With this, you won’t be able to stand at all and you will need a cast until the bones mend.
How do you treat a twisted ankle?
If you have twisted or sprained your ankle, you should try the R.I.C.E. method for treating it.
This stands for:
REST—Get off your feet immediately and take it easy. If you try to go back to playing or participating in a sport too quickly, you will likely re-injure it and make it worse. The first thing you need to do is just stop and rest.
ICE—You may have heard that you should put a heating pad on a sprain, but don’t. The best thing to do is put an ice pack on as soon as possible. Keep it on for at least 15 minutes at first. After that, you should do 15 minutes on, 15 off ice therapy for the first 24 hours at least, while they are awake of course. For the little kids, this is a long time so realistically, we like to say leave it on for as long as they can tolerate it.
COMPRESS—Apply an elastic bandage or support to your ankle to keep the swelling down. Be careful with this though. If you compress it too tightly, you may cut off circulation to your foot. Be sure you can slip a finger under the bandage.
ELEVATE—When you lay down, keep your foot elevated so that it is higher than your heart. This will help the swelling go down as fluid is drained off. This is especially useful to do at night while you are in bed.
Follow the R.I.C.E. method to help treat your child’s twisted ankles. But remember, if it is severe or if the pain and swelling persists, you should always follow up with a doctor.
Be Prepared for Sprains, Breaks and Twisted Ankles!
It’s an instinct for moms to want to protect our children—it’s built into our DNA. And if we see our child hurt or in pain, it’s also an instinct to fly into “mama bear” mode and try to take care of them. That’s why nosebleeds can cause such a panic with us.
But, unfortunately, it’s actually one of the health problems that can cause a panic induced reaction that can lead to the wrong treatment for your child.
Let’s take a look at what can cause a nosebleed and how to stop them.
There are several possible causes of nosebleeds in children. These include:
Dry air—This is the most common cause of nosebleeds in children. If you keep your home heated in the winter or if you live in a region that is especially arid, then your child’s nose can get really dried out. When this happens, it can lead to a nosebleed. My trick to combat this is to use Aquaphor to lubricate my kids nose at night using a Q-tip. Works really well!
Physical injury—This one is probably the scariest, because it happens suddenly and is coupled with fears of a broken nose. It happens often with sports by taking a ball or something similar to the face.
Nasal problems—If your child has a cold or allergies, then it can cause their nasal membranes to become irritated, which can lead to nosebleeds. Sinus or bacterial infections can also be to blame.
Nose picking—It’s gross, but let’s face it: kids pick their noses. Unfortunately, sometimes they scratch the inner lining of their nose causing it to bleed. This one is more common than many people think.
When your child gets a nosebleed, it’s going to be scary for them. Here’s how you can help treat the nosebleed and take care of them:
Have the child sit down and relax. This is important because their natural instinct is to run around and freak out. Sit down, hold their hand, and tell them that it’s going to be OK.
Have them lean forward instead of leaning back or laying down. This is a big one because many people were taught to hold your head back. This just causes the blood to go back down into your nasal passages—not a good thing. Instead, lean forward so that the blood can flow out.
Using gauze or tissue paper, pinch the child’s nose at the bony part right along the bridge. This is important because it will staunch the flow of blood. Make sure to also use the gauze or tissue to cover up the nose to soak up the blood and keep it away from clothes or furniture and carpets. If you have one handy, you can also place a cold compress across the bridge of the nose to help decrease the blood flow.
Tell your child to breathe through their mouth.
Apply pressure for 5-10 minutes until the bleeding stops. Keep the pressure applied and resist the urge to check very often. Checking every thirty seconds will prolong the time it takes to stop the bleeding. If it goes on for more than fifteen minutes, you may need to call a health professional for advice. If the nosebleed is from a physical trauma such as a blunt force injury, then you should call 911 or get medical attention as there may be some other issues at play such as a broken nose.
After the nosebleed stops, avoid any activity for 30 minutes that might cause it to start bleeding again. (This would not be the time to start back into the game and risk taking another shot to the nose.) Part of this is to keep your child from picking or blowing their nose. It’s only natural for them to want to do this to clear out their nose which is probably going to feel stuffy. But if you do this, it could start bleeding again.
Nosebleeds are a fairly common occurrence, especially with active children. If you know ahead of time what to do, you can make sure to exude that “calm and collected” demeanor that will keep your child calm as well.