View First Aid Advice
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|Causes & Health Information|
Types of Leg Injuries
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Dislocations (bone out of joint)
- Sprains - stretches and tears of ligaments. A sprained ankle is the most common ligament injury of the leg. It’s usually caused by turning the ankle inward. The main symptoms are pain and swelling of the outside of the ankle.
- Strains - stretches and tears of muscles (a pulled muscle)
- Muscle overuse injuries from sports or exercise (such as shin splints of lower leg)
- Muscle bruise from a direct blow (like thigh muscles)
- Bone bruise from a direct blow (like on the hip)
- Mild: Your child feels pain and tells you about it. But, the pain does not keep your child from any normal activities. School, play and sleep are not changed.
- Moderate: The pain keeps your child from doing some normal activities. It may wake him or her up from sleep.
- Severe: The pain is very bad. It keeps your child from doing all normal activities.
|CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR LEG INJURIES|
- What You Should Know:
- During sports, muscles and bones get bruised.
- Muscles get stretched.
- These injuries can be treated at home.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Treatment of Pulled Muscle, Bruised Muscle or Bruised Bone:
- Pain Medicine. To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table. Ibuprofen works better for this type of pain.
- Cold Pack. For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth. Put it on the sore muscles for 20 minutes. Repeat 4 times on the first day, then as needed. Reason: Helps with the pain and helps stop any bleeding. Caution: Avoid frostbite.
- Heat Pack. If pain lasts over 2 days, put heat on the sore muscle. Use a heat pack, heating pad or warm wet washcloth. Do this for 10 minutes, then as needed. Caution: Avoid burns. For stiffness all over, use a hot bath instead. Move the sore leg muscles under the warm water.
- Rest. Rest the injured part as much as possible for 48 hours.
- For pulled muscles, teach your youngster about stretching and strength training.
- Treatment of Mild Sprains (stretched ligaments) of Ankle or Knee:
- First Aid: Apply ice now to reduce bleeding, swelling, and pain. Wrap with an elastic bandage.
- Treat with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Apply compression with a snug, elastic bandage for 48 hours. Numbness, tingling, or increased pain means the bandage is too tight.
- Cold Pack: For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth. Put it on the ankle or knee for 20 minutes. Repeat 4 times on the first day, then as needed. Reason: Helps with the pain and helps stop any bleeding. Caution: Avoid frostbite.
- To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table. Continue for at least 48 hours.
- Keep the injured ankle or knee elevated and at rest for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, allow any activity that doesn't cause pain.
- What to Expect:
- Pain and swelling usually peak on day 2 or 3.
- Most often, swelling is gone in 7 days.
- Pain may take 2 weeks to fully go away.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Pain is not better after 3 days
- Pain lasts more than 2 weeks
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
This free app has a symptom checker,
dosage tables for common medications,
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/1/2012
Last Revised: 1/14/2013
Content Set: Child Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.