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Sprains and Strains
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Partial tears of ligaments or tendons (sprains) or partial muscle tears (strains) can take your child out of action fast. These painful injuries, which are usually accompanied by a great deal of swelling and tenderness, can usually be treated at home. But if the condition doesn't improve within a week, call your pediatrician.
Feeling Swell
If your child has a sprain or strain, you first need to try and reduce the swelling around it. For the first 48 hours, keep ice on the injury and make sure it's raised above heart level as long as possible. For at least the next 48 hours, stabilize the injury with an elastic athletic bandage (available at most drugstores). Finally, soothe away aches and pains with a heating pad. Use as long as necessary.
Warm Up to Stretching
Muscle and ligament injuries can be avoided by warming up and stretching before playing sports and doing other physical activities. That goes for children and adults. Show your child the proper way to stretch muscles and help prevent injuries.
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