Have you heard about nursemaid’s elbow?

I still remember the day when I arrived home from work around 4pm, my husband told me that our 19 month old would not stop crying earlier and he was not moving his right arm. I was like, what happened? Did he fall? My husband said no and that he pulled him up from the floor. He already stopped crying and slightly moving his right arm but of course, I would like him to be seen by a doctor.

So I called the advice nurse and told her what happened. She then set us up to an appointment the same afternoon. The pediatrician examined our son and told us that he had an injury called “nursemaid’s elbow”. What in the world is that? I am a nurse but I have never heard of that injury. So the doctor explained to us that it is a type of injury that occurs when one of the bones in the forearm slips out of position at the elbow. It is sometimes referred as “pulled elbow”. It is common in children between ages 1 and 4. Their ligaments are not fully formed, so even a mild force on the joint may cause it to shift. As children grow, their arms get stronger and they no longer get this type of injury. The doctor did not do any x-ray, she just did some manipulation and moved back the elbow in place. She said it usually heals quickly and without damage which is true. After that, he could move his right arm again, he was back into being active and playful.

To prevent this you have to carefully reach your child under their arms and not grabbing their wrists or hands. Do not swing your child holding their arms.

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