If a child reports an injured area is painful and the area is swollen or deformed, or if motion causes pain, the child may have a fracture or sprain. If the area is an arm or a leg, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends making a splint for the injured area by wrapping it in a towel or soft cloth and using a piece of cardboard or other firm material to hold the arm or leg in place. Do not try to straighten the limb. Apply ice for no more than 20 minutes and call the pediatrician or 911 as appropriate.
Prompt medical treatment ensures that if needed, bones can be set back into place quickly so that they heal properly. Since tissue or other damage may be present when a fracture occurs, a prompt medical evaluation in necessary.