Paediatric first aid treatment for broken bones

Providing prompt paediatric first aid: Treating broken bones

Accidents happen, especially when it comes to children. From playground tumbles to sports mishaps, fractures and broken bones are not uncommon in the world of paediatric emergencies. As caregivers, parents, or professionals in childcare settings, having the knowledge and skills to provide immediate first aid for broken bones is crucial. In this blog, Rose delves into the essential steps and considerations for effectively managing paediatric fractures, ensuring the well-being of the child and promoting a swift recovery.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), around 9,000 children under the age of 16 are admitted to hospitals in the UK every year due to fractures sustained from falls.
  • The most common fractures in children occur in the forearm, followed by the wrist and upper arm.
  • Prompt first aid significantly reduces the risk of complications and promotes faster healing in paediatric bone injuries.

Key definitions

  • Fracture - A break or crack in a bone, often resulting from trauma or excessive force.
  • Greenstick fracture - A type of incomplete fracture where the bone bends and partially breaks, resembling a green twig.
  • Compound fracture - A severe fracture where the broken bone pierces through the skin, increasing the risk of infection.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 outline the legal requirements for employers to provide adequate first aid provisions in the workplace, including training employees in paediatric first aid.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework in childcare settings mandates that staff have up-to-date paediatric first aid training, ensuring the safety and well-being of children in their care.

Step-by-step first aid for suspected fractures in children

  • Assessment and initial response - Upon encountering a suspected fracture, assess the child's condition and ensure the safety of the surrounding environment. Avoid moving the child unnecessarily and reassure them while awaiting medical assistance.
  • Immobilisation - Carefully support the injured limb using improvised splints or padding to prevent further movement and minimise pain. However, avoid applying direct pressure to the injury site.
  • Seeking medical assistance - Contact emergency services or transport the child to the nearest healthcare facility for professional assessment and treatment. Provide relevant details about the nature of the injury and any first aid interventions performed.
  • Comfort and support - Throughout the ordeal, maintain open communication with the child, offering comfort and support to alleviate anxiety and pain. Distraction techniques such as storytelling or singing can be beneficial during the waiting period.


  • Ensure all caregivers and staff undergo certified paediatric first aid training, equipping them with the necessary skills to respond effectively to emergencies.
  • Regularly review and update first aid procedures and protocols in accordance with current guidelines and best practice recommendations.
  • Encourage parents and guardians to familiarise themselves with basic first aid principles and procedures, empowering them to respond confidently to paediatric emergencies at home or in public settings.


In summary, prompt and appropriate first aid can significantly improve the outcome of paediatric bone injuries. By understanding the key steps and principles outlined in this article, caregivers and professionals can play a vital role in ensuring the safety and well-being of children in their care. Let us all commit to being prepared and proactive in responding to paediatric emergencies, safeguarding the health and happiness of our youngest members of society.

Take the first step towards becoming a confident child first aider by enrolling in our accredited paediatric first aid training course today. Click here to learn more and book your training session. Together, we can make a difference in saving young lives.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Providing prompt paediatric first aid: Treating broken bones - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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