The thought of your baby getting hurt is overwhelming and scary. Unfortunately, it happens, especially once they're mobile. The trouble with babies, however, is that they can't tell you what happened or what hurts, so you have to ask yourself if you should call the doctor, take them to the Emergency Room, or wait and see. It's difficult to tell what's wrong when your child isn't verbal, so it's natural to wonder how to tell if your baby has a broken bone. Thankfully, there are some red flags you can look out for so you can either get them help as soon as possible, or avoid an unnecessary trip to the hospital.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics's (AAP) website, Healthychildren.org, broken bones are one of the most common forms of injury in children under 6. Fortunately, the same site notes that kids are pretty damn resilient, and can heal quickly once a break is identified and treated. But when your kid is constantly falling down and getting hurt, as kids are known to do, it can be difficult to differentiate a potentially serious injury from just another bump or bruise. Fortunately, for worried parents everywhere, you can figure out if it's a break right away if you simply know what to look for.
According to Caryl Waite, PA-C, a physician assistant with Mount Nittany Physician Group Pediatrics, you can tell a lot about an injury from where it's at. Most broken bones generally happen in the middle of limbs and away from joints. And according to BabyCenter, a broken bone will cause swelling and pain, but unlike other types of injuries, won't respond to rest and ice. The same site notes that your baby might tell you it hurts by not using or putting pressure on the afflicted area, or crying when it is touched. However, your baby may still be able to move a broken bone, so it's best to get care from a medical professional if you suspect a break.