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Your child has an injury called pulled elbow. Pulled elbow occurs when one of the bones in the forearm slips out of position at the elbow. It can happen during play or when an adult pulls a child up over a curb or other obstacle. It also can happen when a child's hand is pulled through the sleeve of a sweater or coat. Pulled elbow is common in children between ages 1 and 4. As children grow, their arms get stronger and they no longer get this type of injury.
The doctor may have moved the elbow back in place. This injury usually heals quickly and without permanent damage.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
To prevent pulled elbow:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter H180 in the search box to learn more about "Pulled Elbow in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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