Nursemaid’s Elbow – Mental Notes for Mommy

I have learn many things through trial and error or heck just by
simply living my life. Something may happen and I say
“Make a Mental Note of that for next time.”.

 Do Not Pick You Child Up By the Hands,Wrist or Forearm.

Have you ever heard of Nursemaid’s Elbow??? 
I have never heard of Nursemaid’s elbow until very recently.  I have on occasion picked my children up by the wrists. And have also swung them by the arms while playing.  I will admit to hearing you shouldn’t do things like that but never knew of the significance.  Now I know and thought it was imporatant to share. 

Nuresmaid’s Elbow is a term used to describe a partial dislocation of a child’s elbow.  It occurs most commonly in children ages 1-3 but can occur in infants and older children.
How can this occur:
Traction (pulling) on the elbow joint such as:
– By picking your child up by the hands, wrists, or forearm.
– Jerking a childs arm
– Swinging a child by the arms

It also can happen:
breaking a fall by the arms
Infant rolling over in an arkward way
WHY does this occur?
The elbow joint connects 2 bones, the humerus (upper arm bone) to the radius and ulna (lower arm bones) together. The radius is surrounded by a ligament that is sometimes loose in younger kids.
Thus, the ligament can sometimes slip causing the the bone to move out of place.  In some children, this can happen easily with just a small amount of force placed upon it.
After some type of force placed upon the elbow a child will not use the arm and holds the arm slightly flexed and pronated (hand facing down).
Pain and tenderness over the elbow joint without swelling, redness, warmth, abrasions.
A pediatrician with make a small movement of the arm to put the elbow back in place. The child will usually gain immediate use the arm and be painfree.

This entry was posted in family health, mental notes for mommy, nursemaids elbow. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Nursemaid’s Elbow – Mental Notes for Mommy

  1. Cari Snell says:

    BOTH my sons hyperextented their elbows (or I should say I hyperextended their elbows…) when they were both under two. In both cases, I was holding their hand walking when they tripped (one was going up the stairs, the other was stepping up to the curn) and I automatically pulled them up. It seems that some kids are more succeptible (like mine) than others until they are 5 or 6 years of age. The docotr told us he gets 8 or 9 cases a month. I CRINGE when I see people swinging their kids by the hands either in a one, two, three weeee! game or swinging them like an airplane. Something else to note: Both my boys held their wrists and cried saying their wrist hurt (the pain radiated down). Since I had gone through it once with my oldest child I instantly knew what had happened when the youngest child did the same. I hard lesson to learn but one to be aware of. And if it happens to you, don't beat yourself up over it…Some kids definitely are more sensitive than others.

  2. I have two teenagers now and after all these years, I'm still learning new things. I'll be sure to pass this information on to my little sister who is expecting her first. Visiting from SITS!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hi! Visiting from SITSgirls. Isaw the topic of your most recent post and just HAD to leave a comment! Shortly after my second daughter turned 1 yrs. old my husband was picking both of our daughters up by the hands and swinging them back and forth. They were laughing/having a good time. When he picked up my youngest she suddenly went quiet then started crying out in pain. He put her down immediately and I picked her up. She seemed upset, then I noticed her right arm completely straight out. She couldn't bend it. I tried moving her arm but she just cried. I thought he dislocated her shoulder or something! We went to the kid's urgent care (only thing open) and they knew right away and told us she would be okay. the doctor was an older man, semi-retired and GREAT! He gently twisted her elbow back in place and within minutes she was crawling around. We have been careful ever since (and it hasn't happened again.) But they said she will be susceptible until she's 4 yrs. old. They said some kids have a space between their joints which allows it to happen easily. Our oldest doesn't have that issue! We just let anyone who's watching her know too.

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