Pulled Elbow - Child | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty
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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