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What is a toddler’s fracture?
A toddler’s fracture is a minor break or fracture of the shin bone (tibia), often referred to as a ‘hair-line fracture’. This type of injury is typically caused by a simple fall or twisting of the leg and is very common in children under 3 years of age. Your child may well have started limping, or refused to walk or stand on their leg for no apparent reason; you may not even remember them falling or injuring themselves.
What tests will be done?
Your child may have an x-ray. The nurse practitioner or doctor will make this decision based on the history of the injury, their examination and the age of your child. Toddler’s fractures don’t always show up on the first x-ray because they are so small; we sometimes ask you to bring your child back to one of our clinics after 7 to10 days and we may repeat the x-ray at this stage.
What is the treatment for a toddler’s fracture?
It is not always necessary for your child to have a plaster cast with this sort of fracture; they may only require simple pain medication and rest. This is because children who don’t have a plaster cast heal as well as those who do, and may start walking again sooner.
What should we do when we get home?
We recommend that you give your child regular paracetamol and / or ibuprofen for the first 48 hours and mobilise as pain allows.
It may be several weeks before your child walks normally again, however please see your GP or return to the Children’s Emergency Department if your child has not improved within 4 weeks.
Our aim is to provide information that will help you understand your child’s injury and enable the appropriate after care.
There are lots of useful injury leaflets to download at the Royal Alexandra website
24hr advice line NHS 111
Practice Plus (Brighton walk-in Centre) 0333 321 0946
Practice Plus GP 0300 130 3333
7 days a week 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.