Paediatric first aid treatment for dislocated bones

Mastering paediatric first aid: Treating dislocated bones

Paediatric first aid is a critical skill for anyone caring for children. Accidents happen, and being prepared can make all the difference. One common injury is dislocated bones, which can be distressing for both the child and the caregiver. In this article, Rose delves into the essential aspects of treating dislocated bones in paediatric first aid, including key facts, legislation, regulations, and best practices.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), approximately 30,000 children under 15 attend accident and emergency departments each year due to dislocations.
  • Dislocations commonly occur in the shoulder, elbow, knee, and fingers.
  • Prompt and proper treatment is crucial to prevent further complications and ensure a swift recovery.

Key definitions

  • Dislocation - A dislocation occurs when the bones in a joint are forced out of their regular positions.
  • Reduction - The process of returning the dislocated bones to their correct alignment.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate first aid training for their employees, including those working with children.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework in England mandates that childcare providers must have at least one person with a current paediatric first aid certificate on the premises at all times.

Recognising dislocated bones

Dislocations often result from falls, sports injuries, or accidents. Signs of a dislocation include severe pain, swelling, deformity, and limited movement in the affected joint.

Immediate action

  • Assess the situation - Ensure the safety of the child and bystanders.
  • Provide comfort - Reassure the child and keep them calm.
  • Immobilise the joint - Avoid moving the injured limb and support it in the position found.
  • Seek medical help - Dislocations require professional assessment and treatment. Call emergency services or seek medical attention promptly.


  • Reduction - A healthcare professional will perform reduction to realign the dislocated bones. This may involve gentle manipulation or, in severe cases, sedation.
  • Immobilisation - Following reduction, the joint may be immobilised with a splint or sling to support healing.
  • Pain management - Over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended to manage discomfort.


  • Educate children about safety measures to prevent accidents.
  • Ensure appropriate supervision during activities with a risk of injury.
  • Regularly inspect play equipment and environments for potential hazards.


Paediatric first aid is a vital skill for caregivers, and knowing how to handle dislocated bones can make a significant difference in a child's recovery. By understanding the signs, taking immediate action, and following proper treatment protocols, we can ensure the safety and well-being of the children in our care.

Empower yourself with paediatric first aid training today. Click here to explore our comprehensive training courses and equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively in emergency situations.

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.

Mastering paediatric first aid: Treating dislocated bones - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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