Because children are constantly on the go, from the jungle gym to the soccer field, they are constantly at risk of broken bones and fractures. Typically when a child breaks a bone, it will require a cast or splint to keep it protected during the healing process. A splint is usually the first type of treatment a child will receive at a doctor, urgent care or emergency room facility. Knowing what to expect with this procedure can help alleviate some of the stress a parent feels when faced with this situation.
What A Splint Is
A splint differs from a cast in that it does not surround the broken bone. Splints are only hard on two sides and can provide support surrounding the injury, reducing the risk of injuring the bone further. A splint also allows room for swelling, which a cast does not. Normally, the splint is applied immediately and is worn prior to the cast being placed — when the swelling has subsided enough. In some cases, a cast may not be needed at all.
What A Splint Is Made Of
Usually consisting of three or four layers, a splint is held in place by a bandage, making it vulnerable to accidental movement. The first, optional, layer of a splint is cotton-stocking material that protects the skin and adds some comfort. The second layer is a soft cotton material intended to further pad the appendage, while the third layer typically consists of fiberglass. Finally, the fourth layer is the bandage that keeps everything in its place.
Caring For A Splint
If your child is given a splint, it’s important to keep it dry, as it may lose its strength and no longer keep the bone in place when wet. Your child should never attempt to adjust his or her splint; only a doctor or trained medical professional should handle this. Also, if your child complains of the splint being too tight, you should seek medical attention immediately to have this fixed so circulation is not cut off.
If your child has suffered a broken bone or fracture, he or she should see a doctor as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Urgent Care, our technicians are highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.