Pediatric Sprain

ExitCare ImageA sprain happens when the bands of tissue that connect bones and hold joints together (ligaments) stretch too much or tear.


  • Raise (elevate) the injured area to lessen puffiness (swelling).

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between the skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes at a time, every 2 hours. Do this for the first 2 days.

  • Rest the injured area.

  • Only give medicine as told by your child's doctor. Do not give aspirin to children.

  • Wear any splints, braces, castings, or elastic wraps as told by your child's doctor.

  • Follow up with your child's doctor as told. This is important.

  • Your child should not participate in sports or gym class until your child's doctor says it is okay.


  • Your child's limb is pale or cold.

  • Your child loses feeling (numb) in the limb.

  • Your child's pain is worse.

  • The injury stays tender.

  • Putting weight on the injured area is still painful after 5 to 7 days of rest and treatment.

  • The cast or splint hurts or pinches your child.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your child's condition.

  • Will get help right away if your child is not doing well or gets worse.