As a child I never broke a bone. I never required a trip to the ER. I was always careful, I guess or the non-adventurous type. Well my toddler has already proven herself to be the exact opposite of her mama because the ripe old age of 2 and she landed herself in the ER with a "common" injury among toddlers that I never even knew existed.
It Happened on Her Birthday
Maybe my daughter isn't the polar opposite of me, she does seem like she has a flair for the dramatics. Her ER trip occurred not only while we were on vacation but on her second birthday. We were celebrating at Sesame Place and after having spent the afternoon exploring the park we had dinning reservations for a character meal. We checked in and while unpacking our stroller, as it was not allowed inside the restaurant, my toddler fell and cried in a way my husband and I had never heard her cry before.
In a State of Shock
I must have gone into shock because even as my husband was telling me something was terribly wrong, I was more focused on getting into the restaurant and being upset over the fact that this perfect birthday celebration wasn't going to happen.
We were supposed to be dinning with Elmo! They were going to sing to her! I knew the cancelation policy and I didn't want to be out the cost of the dinner and also miss out on the experience. I was convinced she would be OK if only she saw Elmo. My husband didn't agree but went off to the park's First Aid center just in case to see if she would settle. She didn't and they really couldn't tell what was wrong as she was clutching her arm. Could it be broken? Sprained? Who knew! But she wouldn't let anyone touch it and she wouldn't stop crying.
Luckily the wonderful manager on duty that evening told me we could reschedule our dinner since we would be at the park the new two days and even though we checked in it wouldn't count against our reservation.
Sesame Place is located extremely close to a hospital and they were able to evaluate my toddler right away. As soon as the practitioner came in he took one look at her and said, "let me try something". He moved her arm in a way that caused a very audible "click" and then he said "give it about 15 minutes".
15 minutes later my toddler was not only no longer crying but she was running up and down the hall of the ER and laughing as if nothing was wrong. What in the what?!!
Nursemaid's Elbow, by definition means the elbow has slipped out of its normal place at the joint. My toddler fell while smelling flowers (seriously) and when she fell she braced herself and since her ligaments are still loose (apparently) when she landed her elbow slipped out of place.
This injury is common among toddlers but is usually not seen in children above the age of 6 because as they grow their ligaments get stronger. However, if a toddler gets a Nursemaid's Elbow once, they are more likely to have it happen to them again.
How to Prevent Nursemaid's Elbow
Toddlers fall, a lot. There isn't much we can do about that and while the risk of it happening to them while they brace themselves is there. There are some ways we, as parents can prevent causing Nursemaid's Elbow.
Even though this injury appeared to be horrific, the fact is was she was fine within 15 minutes of her elbow being clicked back into place and I consider us extremely lucky.
I never heard of Nursemaid's Elbow so I'm writing to share the information I learned so if it happens to your toddler (which I hope it doesn't) you'll be more informed than I was.