As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Accidents Happen: Nursemaid's Elbow

Twice in NHV's two years, she's had an injury known as nursemaid's elbow.

The first time Natalie was about 7 months old, and she actually caused this injury to herself while rolling over in her crib. Click here if you're interested in the full details.

And then, recently, my husband and Natalie were playing like daddies and their little girls do ... a little rougher than I would like. Natalie was behind Chad with her arms stretched up toward his neck. He was crouched down reaching over his shoulder to grab her hands. As he stood up - raising her with him, there was a quick holler of pain from our baby girl. Again, full details here.

Actions that can increase risk of this type of injury, according to
  • Pulling a child up by the hands. Lifting under the armpits is the safest way to lift a child.
  • Swinging a toddler by the arms. This seems like lots of fun but it is never a good idea.
  • Breaking a fall with the arm. The natural response to falling is outstretching an arm for
  • Rolling over in an awkward way. Sometimes rolling over in a crib, bed, or on the floor can cause nursemaid's elbow in infants.

Both times it was very clear that something was wrong with Natalie's arm - she would not use it and was calm unless her arm was moved. Both times I immediately thought it was her shoulder - not her elbow - come to find out, that is a a common mommy misdiagnosis for this injury.

A quick call to our family doctor confirmed that it was probably her elbow. More specifically an injury called nursemaid's elbow, which is a partial dislocation of the elbow. And it sounds much worse than it is ... I say this mainly because visually Natalie's elbow looked totally fine and once we immobilized the arm, she didn't appear to be in any pain.


  • Immobilize the arm. If your toddler will leave the arm pulled across his tummy, that's sufficient. If not, use a bandana to make a quick sling.

  • Call the pediatrician's office. Chances are he will be able to confirm over the phone that it's nursemaid's elbow. If the accident happens during office hours, it can be reset by your doctor.

  • Make a trip to the ER. If the accident happens after office hours, you'll need to go to the ER to have the elbow reset. Do not attempt to reset the elbow yourself.

Next week's edition of Accidents Happen ... Strange Object in Nasal Passage with help from Chitown Momma and her boy B ... you won't want to miss this one!


Eva Gallant said...

This happend to my oldest grandson when he was about 4. His Dad, my son, felt so awful, he cried!

Jen said...

TY for this post - I never knew about this!

Oliver'sMom said...

Can't wait for next week's post...Oliver shoved a bean from his bean bucket up his nose this weekend...Thank goodness he knows how to blow his nose now, and that I noticed when he did it! We have various colors of beans in his bucket (red, pinto, black, kidney, navy for sorting as well as pouring and flinging at the cats), and those black beans are SMALL!!! LOL.

Ekanthapadhikan said...

Hi! That was something very informative! Though I myself don't have kids (not old enough for that), I do have a couple of little nephews and niece that I play around with and none of them are over two years old. I can be careful with them now on.

Thank you for sharing the info.

Chi-town momma said...

Guess I better get writing my post huh? :)

SupahMommy said...

... such a CUTE idea... the whole.. accidents happen.. i love it d!

the nasal passage one will work also.. for snot blocked stuffiness...

my friend just posted about it.. and i never knew. :)