Family • Wellbeing • Adventure

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Pulled Elbow Incident

Just before the incident
*This post was originally published in October 2014. I wanted to publish again to remind parents of the danger's of Pulled Elbow.

So last weekend (October 2014), when out on a pretty nice family day out, it ended in tears and a trip to A&E. When Darcie was playing, she almost stepped into the path of some bikes (we were at a bike show) that were heading straight towards her. I grabbed Darcie's hand and pulled her out of harms way - only I actually ended up pulling her elbow out of joint. As soon as the incident happened, I knew what I had done. Why? Because it has happened before. I instantly felt a rush of guilt pour over me. We had been so very careful since the last incident (in which Jamie & Darcie had been dancing and her elbow came out of joint), and I couldn't believe that I had put her through that again. I knew all the dangers of pulled elbow. It happened to me when I was Darcie's age, so I was always told how to avoid it. So we headed straight to A&E to get it put right.

Once we were there, we didn't have to wait long to be seen. Every time she moved she cried out in pain - the nurses wanted to get it sorted. After giving her a little bit of pain relief the doctor came and set her elbow right. Immediately after he did it, she cried out "I'm better now". We were told to go and let her play in the waiting area so they could make sure she was using her arm properly. The doctor was happy with what he saw and said she was ok. He reminded us of everything we already knew, but did say how, until she was five, she (and all children) are at risk of it happening again.

Our little bundles of joy are oh so fragile and accidents do happen. But I felt like the worst mum in the world that day. 

So here is a little information about pulled elbow which is a highly common injury amongst under fives.

Signs and Symptoms

A pulled elbow is caused by a sudden pull on a child's lower arm or wrist, which can occur when a child is lifted by one arm or when holding on to their wrists. It occurs mostly in under fives because the joints are not as strong and some child are more susceptible to it than others. In most cases a child with pulled elbow will cry straightaway and not use the arm at all, or simply have it hanging by their side (Darcie refused to let me touch hers).



The partial dislocation will be manipulated back into place by a nurse or doctor. Never attempt to do it yourself as this can cause more damage. You will then be observed for a short while to check that they are using their arm normally. They then should be ok and should not require more treatment, though you should make sure they keep well rested for a day or two.


Make sure you don't pick your child up by the lower arms or wrists and teach others who come into contact with your child on a regular basis to do the same. This is very important to save your child from having the same injury from happening again.

I hope you have found this information useful and your child doesn't experience it like Darcie.

Mummy B xoxox


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