What are Acute Pediatric Injuries?
Acute pediatric injuries are injuries in children caused by severe trauma. These injuries happen suddenly and range from severe bruises to bumps to broken bones. Some of the common acute pediatric injuries include:
- Cuts or bruises
- Sprains (partial or complete ligament tear or pulled muscle)
- Strains (partial or complete muscle or tendon tear)
- Broken bones or bone dislocation
- Injury to joints, spinal cord, or head
- Puncture wounds
Causes of Acute Pediatric Injuries
Children are at higher of acute injuries than adults because they are still growing and developing and are always very active by nature. Knees, arms, ankles, and feet are the places they are most likely to get hurt during their growth process. Activities such as jumping, running, climbing, and falling can make them stretch their limits and may result in acute injuries. Some of the likely causes of acute pediatric injuries include:
- Sports injuries
- A direct blow
- Penetrating injury
- Twisting, jerking, jamming, or abnormal movements.
Signs and Symptoms of Acute Pediatric Injuries
Some of the signs and symptoms of acute pediatric injuries include:
- Sudden and severe to very severe pain in the affected area.
- Swelling of the affected area soon after the injury.
- A partial or complete tear of the injured area.
- Inflammation of joints or fracture of bones.
What If the Condition is Left Untreated?
Bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in children are still in the growing phase. If untreated, acute pediatric injuries may disrupt the normal growth process and even cause disabilities in very serious cases.
Diagnosis of Acute Pediatric Injuries
During the diagnosis, your doctor will first enquire about how the injury occurred. Then, a detailed physical examination of the affected area is performed to look for signs and symptoms of injury. For further details on the severity of the injury to bones and soft tissues, imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan or MRI may be ordered.
Treatment for Acute Pediatric Injuries
Treatment of acute pediatric injuries depends upon the severity of the injury. The initial treatment will most likely involve first aid coupled with RICE technique (rest, icing, compression and elevation) for minor acute pediatric injuries. Both over-the-counter and prescription medications may be used to provide relief from pain and swelling. Subsequently, a combination of physical therapy, strengthening exercises, and casting or bracing may be considered.
If the injury is serious, the doctor may recommend appropriate surgery to treat the condition.