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Child's play can be dangerous

Be careful when playing games with children

You probably thought swinging children around by their arms can be fun – think again! This is the story of how an innocent game turned out to have disastrous results



A Mother’s Story:
You wouldn’t think swinging your child around could cause serious damage. I was playing with my two-year-old daughter, Hannah, in the garden and swinging her around by her hands – a game I played when I was little and a game many parents play with their children.

Suddenly I felt her arm twist and heard a slight cracking noise, I immediately put her down, but it was obvious she was in a lot of pain. I rushed her to hospital, but the Doctor was reluctant to x-ray her arm as it was felt it was unlikely Hannah had broken or fractured it. In fact after a consultation it appeared her elbow joint had slightly dislocated.

Apparently this is one of the most common injuries to small children, before they reach two years of age, as their joints are still cartilage and many are still growing. The elbow joint is particularly vulnerable, as it is still small enough to slip 'out'.

Hannah’s arm was put in a sling and she was given Calpol to ease the pain. The Doctor told me her arm would work its way back of its own accord. It took just a day for her arm to slip back, however I had a terrible shock when about six months later we were out shopping and Hannah had sat down on the floor in the shop. I held her hand to help her get up and it happened again. This was extremely worrying as I started to wonder if she was going to have a permanent weakness there. I visited my doctor who assured me it was just one of those things. He then proceeded to twist her arm slightly and it popped back in.

Although children’s arms are strong enough to support their weight after a certain age - I still won’t swing her around even now!


Childalert Expert and GP, Dr Evans comments: "This is a very common occurrence and cases like this are presented to me far more regularly than I’d like. Parents and childcarers must be careful when playing games with children – even the most innocent games can have the most serious consequences."

"This is a very common occurrence and cases like this are presented to me far more regularly than I’d like. Parents and childcarers must be careful when playing games with children – even the most innocent games can have the most serious Childalert Expert and GP, Dr Evans

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