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First Aid - Splint for Ankle Injury
First Aid - Bleeding Leg
First Aid - Cold Pack for Minor Leg Injury
First Aid - R.I.C.E.
Types of Leg Injuries
Pain Severity Scale
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR LEG INJURIES|
- Treatment of Pulled Muscle, Bruised Muscle or Bruised Bone:
- Reassurance: Bruised muscles or bones can be treated at home.
- Pain Medicine: For pain relief, give acetaminophen OR ibuprofen as needed. (See Dosage Table). Ibuprofen is more effective for this type of pain.
- Local Cold: For bruises or swelling, apply a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a wet cloth to the area for 20 minutes per hour. Repeat for 4 consecutive hours. (Reason: reduce the bleeding and pain)
- Local Heat: After 48 hours apply a warm wet washcloth or heating pad for 10 minutes three times per day to help absorb the blood.
- Rest: Rest the injured part as much as possible for 48 hours.
- For pulled muscles, teach your youngster about stretching exercises and strength training.
- Treatment of Mild Sprains (stretched ligaments) of Ankle or Knee:
- First aid: immediate compression and ice to reduce bleeding, swelling, and pain.
- Treat with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Apply compression with a snug, elastic bandage for 48 hours. Numbness, tingling, or increased pain means the bandage is too tight.
- Apply a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a wet cloth to the area for 20 minutes per hour. Repeat for 4 consecutive hours.
- Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen for pain relief. Continue for at least 48 hours.
- Keep injured ankle or knee elevated and at rest for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, allow any activity that doesn't cause pain.
- Expected Course: Pain and swelling usually peak on day 2 or 3. Swelling is usually gone by 7 days. Pain may take 2 weeks to completely resolve.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Pain is not improving after 3 days
- Pain lasts over 2 weeks
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.