What you need to know about swinging your small child and ‘toddler’s elbow’

A new warning about the possibility of a dislocated elbow has really made us think...

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A video released by 2 physical therapists is currently doing the rounds – and reiterates the general advice that swinging kids or pulling them up by their arms (or even just pulling their arms through their clothes when dressing them) can cause an injury called ‘nursemaid’s elbow’ or ‘toddler’s elbow’. 

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What happens is that the swing (or too much strain) can cause the ligaments to be stretched, causing the radius bone to then pop out of the elbow joint – and it can be very painful for the nipper to then have a medic put back in to place. 

Ouch. 

Luckily, it’s said that toddler/nursemaid elbow generally doesn’t happen when kids pass the age of 5 (maybe because they are too big a lump for us to swing then) and that prevention is pretty simple – always lift and swing from under the armpits.

And don’t pull their arms when you’re picking them up or putting their coats on, either! 

This reminder has definitely made us think – after all, it’s so easy to just pull your little one up quickly by the arm if they’ve fallen over, or give them a quick whiz round when they come running up to you, arms outstretched, isn’t it?

Hopefully there will be a few less ouchy elbows in A&E as a result of this advice.

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