When kids’ bones break, here’s what’s at stake
Contrary to what some people think, children aren’t just little adults – especially when it comes to their developing bones. When an adult breaks an arm or leg, the bone simply snaps. In children, bones are more flexible and tend to give, sometimes causing tiny fractures that are very hard-to-see on an X-ray.
“Kids also have growth plates that are areas of tissue where the bones grow,” says Debbie Merinbaum, MD, chair of Pediatric Imaging at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, and chief of Radiology for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “These places are the most susceptible for breaks in children, and if they’re not properly diagnosed and treated, fractures can result in serious complications.”
These can range from the need for further medical or surgical treatment at a children’s clinic or hospital to long-term consequences, such as limiting their ability to participate in sports, recreational activities, and P.E. It can even affect them into adulthood.
Learn more about what makes kids’ bones different, why they should be treated by pediatric specialists, and where you can take them for kid-friendly imaging: