Help! 4 mth DS hurt himself yesterday...

vbiju_caFebruary 7, 2002

While giving him a bath, he kinda slipped on his arm and now wont lift it on his own... We took him to Urgent Care and the doc there had his elbow X-ray taken and all seemed fine. He wasnt sure but he said that it might be a pullup arm(I think thats the word!) and that he did try to put it in, if thats it... But DS still wont lift his left hand and play like usual without us helping him. And the best part is , when we help him, he doesnt seem to be in pain or anything so just cant fathom why he wont lift the hand on his own. He doesnt look like he is in discomfort. We are going to meet his ped this morning.. Meanwhile, any moms out there with helpful advice and solace...

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This made me think of my father. Just about a month ago he was on a ladder and the wind picked up and he started to fall and he caught himself. However, he seems to have pulled a muscle or something in his arm because he's having problems with it. It's slowly getting better and healing itself so he can do more. Do you think maybe your son is just sore and he'll be okay over time? I really can't offer any more advice but I'm sure the ped. will be of some help. Good luck to you. I bet it's just something simple like a pulled or strained something. Don't panic too much if you can help it. If it was bad, they would have found it the other day or your son would be crying from the pain.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2002 at 11:53AM
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It would probably be the case that he pulled some muscles (strain) or maybe sprained a joint a little bit. It sounds like the elbow is ok though and he was checked out for bone injuries. That's a huge good sign. Another one is that he's not acting like it's too painful for him which means if it is a strain or sprain it won't be a severe one (if it were, those would result in obvious bruising usually and it doesn't sound like he has that).

The last time he probably remembers anything to do with that arm, it was surprising and not in a good way. No wonder he won't lift it by himself. And, he probably loves parental touch too so having you or his father lift it probably lifts his 4 month old spirits.

Today or tomorrow (soonish, within a couple days or 'normal' for him) you might be able to catch him moving that arm or hand. If/when you do, make all the noises you know he likes to hear to cheer him on and encourage him. It might hurt or feel weird and it's good for him to move it. As long as he won't, ask your pediatrician about passively moving it and wheather warmth or cooling might be helpful.

Try to describe the actual motions his body and his arm went through at the time for your pediatrician. If he landed on his hand or something, then he might be more likely to have a wrist injury. If he was caught by an adult, by the hand which was lifted up or held up to keep him up that can injure the shoulder. If he landed cleanly on the elbow that situation would probably just be an elbow problem.

In practical terms, sooner or later most babies or older children will at one time or another have different injuries. Some of those will be unpreventable and accidental. It's part of being human which is often independent of how conscientious a parent is (that won't stop parents from judging themselves sometimes, or others from seeming to be judgemental). It's important for you both to realize he's alive, and able to heal and that you can think back to see where things might have been preventable (if they were preventable). It sounds though like the cause of the injury was not predictable and therefore was not really preventable. You did get a chance to demonstrate in a tangible way what to do, and how to do it in a timely manner to get help for him.

Breathe, try not to judge yourself too harshly because it sounds like you did act responsibly and in a timely manner. It also sounds like your baby is not acting like he's in a lot of pain. Ask your pediatrician specifically about what you can do to help him heal (warmth, cooling, having you lift his arm so it gets some motion); and if there is anything spefically which you should not do (and why).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2002 at 12:28PM
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You say the doc xrayed his elbow....

I hope he also checked your baby's collarbone and shoulder. My best friend's son fractured (hairline) his collarbone and it was missed for a while, even though he continually would not lift his arm on that side, and the doc checked him twice.

Another friend's baby did something to her shoulder when she fell, and she acted the same way....would not lift her arm on that side.

All that aside, I think amygdala is giving you some great advice. Babies are very resilient. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 8:03AM
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Oh, I did read what Amygdala wrote yesterday but I may have forgotten if she mentioned this, so forgive me if it's a repeat.

Baby's bones are very bendable when they are little. It takes a lot to break them. So the odds of it happening with what you're talking about happening, are pretty slim. It sounds more like a strain or sprain.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 10:38AM
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Thanks guys, for the consolation...
The radiologist called back and confirmed a fracture : elbow buckle to be more precise (I do not understand the medical terms) but the bottomline is since yesterday afternoon DS has been playing like crazy catching up on all the missed time he did not use the left hand. But ped insisted on having a splint put in place. So finally now he is on a fibre glass kind of splint with gauze all around. He is doing just as fine and I was afraid this was going to cause him more discomfort but it seems like he has adjusted to the extra weight around and now is back to being the normal happy kid he has been always...

I really love all of u here and am going to miss not posting from mid-Feb.
Thanks again! and take care of ur kids there....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 4:46PM
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