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Be careful to avoid nursemaid’s elbow

Dr. Howard Bennett
Author Dr. Howard Bennett
Submitted 20-12-2007

Most dads enjoy being physical with their kids. Whether it’s rolling around on the floor or being swung through in the air, kids respond to physical play. However, young children are more susceptible to dislocating their elbows than older kids. The injury typically occurs when an adult is holding a child’s hand as they walk. If the child stumbles, the adult will yank the child’s hand to keep him from falling. The forces generated by this action may dislocate the elbow by pulling the radius bone out of position. (There are two bones in your forearm; the radius is the one that attaches to the wrist behind the thumb.) The radius may also be dislocated if a child is lifted off the ground by one hand or is swung through the air with one arm. Therefore, be very careful if you lift your toddler off the floor or swing him through the air. Always do this holding both arms.