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Broken Bones, Sprains, and Strains


A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Your child might have a broken (fractured) bone if he or she heard or felt a bone snap, has difficulty moving the injured part, or if the injured part moves in an unnatural way or is very painful to the touch.

A sprain occurs when the ligaments, which hold bones together, are overstretched and partially torn. A strain is when a muscle or tendon is overstretched or torn. Sprains and strains generally cause swelling and pain, and there may be bruises around the injured area. Most sprains and strains, after proper medical evaluation, can be treated at home.

Broken Bones Instructional Sheet Strains and Sprains Instruction Sheet

What to Do:

For a Suspected Broken Bone:
For a Suspected Sprain or Strain:
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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