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Injuries: Limbs

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Broken bones
  • If you think your child's neck or spine may be injured, call 999. Do not move them. Unnecessary movement could cause paralysis.
  • A bone in your child's leg or arm may be broken if they have pain and swelling, and the limb seems to be lying at a strange angle.
  • If you cannot easily move your child without causing pain, call an ambulance.
  • If you have to move your child, be very gentle. Put one hand above the injury and the other below it to steady and support it (use blankets or clothing if necessary). Comfort your child and take them to hospital.
  • If you think your child is in pain, give them painkillers, even if you're going to the Emergency Department. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Advice taken from:


If your child is limping, it's usually the sign of a minor injury such as a sprain or splinter. But see your GP if there's no obvious cause, as there may be a serious underlying medical condition.

This page on the website has advice for parents whose child has started limping.

Where should I get help?
If your child does not have a life or limb threatening injury, consider calling NHS 24 on 111.

You may be allocated a virtual appointment on the same day with a doctor or nurse practitioner at our Flow Navigation Hub. This may avoid the need to travel to hospital.

If after talking to you and your child, they feel you do need to be seen at an Emergency Department or Minor Injury Unit they will direct you to your nearest one.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust website has good advice on preventing falls, and risks to look out for including:

  • Windows and balconies
  • Crawling babies/toddlers and what to do about stairs
  • Highchair safety
  • Bikes
  • Trampoline safety 
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 04 October 2021

Next review: 04 October 2024

Author(s): Ciara Carrick