Pulled Elbow - Child
On this page
- What has happened?
- What should I expect?
- What should I do?
- What should I not do?
- Will I be followed up?
- What if I have concerns/questions?
What has happened?
- Your child has suffered a "pulled elbow"
- A pulled elbow is a common minor injury which affects children under the age of five
- It occurs when one of the forearm bone (radius) partially slips out of position
- This injury will have now been put back into place by ED staff and no further treatment is necessary
What should I expect?
- Your child is expected to make a full recovery within a few days, but they may be sore and a bit upset for a few days
What should I do?
- Usually we will put them in a sling for 2-3 days and you can take this off as soon as they seem comfortable - you do not need to see a doctor before doing this
- If your child seems to be in pain, they can be given simple pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen)
What should I not do?
- To prevent this injury from happening again, it is best to avoid swinging games and pulling/lifting them up by the hand. Instead, pick them up from under the arms/around the chest
Will I be followed up?
- You will not need any follow up for this injury
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If you have any concerns with your child's elbow after 3 to 4 weeks, see your GP - take your ACC form/number with you
- Please seek medical advice if
- your child is not moving their arm by the day after the injury
- there is increasing pain in the injured arm
- there is numbness or tingling in the arm or hand
- there is pain moving your fingers
- there is ongoing pain after 3 days