Back to school is an exciting time for kids and parents alike. Children look forward to reuniting with their friends and getting back into their favorite fall sports. But back to school also signifies a spike in some common orthopaedic injuries for many kids.
As a parent, it can be difficult to determine how serious an injury is. If your child is hurt at school, you likely did not observe the incident and therefore may not have an accurate picture of the severity of the injury. So how do you know if your child’s injury is more than just a playground oops? Consider the following questions?
- Is your child able to move all of his or her body parts? This is especially important when it comes to a potential head/neck injury. If your child is not able to move all body parts, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
- Is your child experiencing numbness or tingling? Again, in cases or head or neck injury, this is a red flag and must be assessed immediately.
- Can your child bear weight on the injured body part? Inability to stand or walk can signify a sprain or broken bone in the lower extremity. If this is the case, an orthopaedic surgeon can easily evaluate the injury and determine the best treatment.
- Is the body party swollen or disfigured? Many orthopaedic injuries mirror one another with symptoms. As a parent, it is tough to distinguish the difference between a sprain, broken bone or torn ligaments. For this reason, it is important to have an orthopaedic surgeon examine your child to diagnose and treat an injury that includes swelling or a body part that looks disfigured after an injury.
- Can your child put pressure on the injured body part? This questions is similar to asking if they can bear weight on the injured body part. With the upper body, it is important to see if your child will let you put moderate pressure on the injury and if they can move it without pain.
If a back to school injury has gotten your child down and out, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. It can be difficult to know whether or not the injury warrants a trip to the emergency room, urgent care or a visit to an orthopaedic surgeon. If you have any doubt at all, it is better to be safe than sorry.