It is not always easy to know if your baby has a broken bone. Infants and young children cannot communicate their needs, leaving parents on their own to identify why their infant is in distress. There are a number of signs that a baby could have a broken bone. A parent that identifies one of these signs should seek immediate medical care.
Delays in medical care for broken bones can have a permanent impact on a child. While most broken bones heal completely, some injuries will lead to lifelong health consequences without medical intervention. You can protect the health of your baby by understanding the nature and warning signs of broken bones in infants.
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Common Fractures in Babies
Collarbone (clavicular) fractures are the most common bone breaks experienced during childbirth. In fact, they are one of the most common birth injuries across the board. Other infant bones that tend to fracture include the humerus in the upper arm and the femur in the upper leg. Less common are breaks in the hand, foot, or forearm.
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How Infant Fractures Happen
There are multiple ways that babies can experience bone fractures. The most common cause of bone fractures among infants is a birth injury. Infants experience significant pressure as they travel through the birth canal. This pressure can be enough to cause injuries in rare cases.
Unfortunately, the most common factor in childbirth fractures is medical negligence. When doctors make mistakes during childbirth, it can lead to this type of injury. These injuries may occur when doctors resort to the use of forceps to deliver a child, as forceps can apply significant pressure to the baby’s body. Careless or rushed doctors can apply too much pressure, causing the bones to break.
Not all fractures result from medical mistakes, however. Children with certain blood disorders, like osteogenesis imperfecta, are predisposed to fractures due to the brittle nature of their bones.
Identifying Broken Bones in Newborns
There are a several signs that can show you if your baby has a broken bone. Identifying these breaks starts with not only knowing the signs of the injury but also having the knowledge of where these injuries typically occur. For fractures in a child’s arms or legs, breaks typically occur in the middle of the bone as opposed to near a joint.
Not every sign of a broken bone will be apparent with each injury. The more signs of a broken bone present, the more likely it is that a fracture has occurred. Some of these symptoms can also be a sign of a strain or other minor injury. If you are unsure of the severity of your child’s injury, it is best to seek immediate medical treatment to be on the safe side. Until then, evaluate your child for the following signs of a potential broken bone.
Broken bones of any type are painful, and infants have no way of expressing the cause of this pain. If the pain the child experiences appears to emanate from an isolated spot, it could be a sign of a broken bone. This is especially true for pain based in the clavicle, arms, legs, or other common spots for fractures.
Often, a serious fracture will result in an audible sound. If you are present when your child suffers some form of trauma followed by an audible pop and severe pain, it could be a sign that a bone has broken.
There are plenty of visual clues that a bone is broken. These include misshapen limbs, swelling, redness, or limbs bent in an unnatural way.
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You Could Qualify for Compensation Based on Your Child’s Fracture
Thankfully, most children recover from broken bones or fractures following proper medical treatment. Once your child’s injury is stable, it could be time to consider a personal injury claim.
If the injury to your child occurred as the result of a medical professional’s negligence, they could be responsible for the cost of treating the injury. Other compensation for these claims could include the pain and suffering your child experienced. If you are ready to pursue an injury claim due to your child’s broken bone, contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to schedule a free consultation.