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Bone Safety 101

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Did you know that approximately half of all children will eventually suffer from a fracture or serious orthopaedic injury?

No surprise to Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital, a world leader in pediatric orthopaedic treatment, research and education for nearly a century. Each year, their doctors treat more than 13,000 children with fractures, half of these occurring during summer months and first part of the school year.

"Children grow rapidly and have open growth plates, which increases their potential for fractures," said Mauricio Silva, M.D., associate medical director for the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Center, one of a team of specially trained pediatric orthopaedists available to treat children in need of fracture care. "To help avoid potential accidents and broken bones, parents and caregivers need to be responsible for the necessary safety precautions, maintenance and repair of any play equipment and involve their child in the process of learning the safety requirements of participating in a particular activity."

Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital pediatric orthopaedic experts offer these top five tips for keeping kids bones safe:

  1. Provide proper adult supervision at home; for example, use non-slip rugs, appropriate stools or ladders with non-skid legs, child safety locks on cupboard doors and drawers so children cannot climb up them.
  2. Use playground equipment with a protective soft surface surrounding it, along with close adult supervision.
  3. Keep children's bicycles in good working order and make sure they adhere to the rules of the road, such as using helmets, reflectors/light at dusk and hand signals.
  4. Use protective gear, including wrist guards and helmets, braces and kneepads during activities.
  5. Avoid or use extreme caution during high-risk activities, including trampoline use in the home and riding all-terrain vehicles.

"For many children, rapid access to pediatric orthopaedic specialists makes the difference between a childhood accident or a debilitating injury with lifetime consequences," said Silva. "Because children's bones heal fast and should be treated differently than an adult's, a fracture not seen within days of occurring will start to heal, aligned or not, which can cause problems including deformity, pain, and arthritis down the road. But if a fracture is treated promptly and correctly, many complications can be avoided and the child is more likely to have a healthy recovery," said Silva.

The most common types of fractures seen in children at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital are elbow, ankle and forearm.

If a child falls or has an accident, Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital doctors recommend the following:

  1. Look for areas of swelling and/or deformity.
  2. Elevate the extremity, apply ice, and seek medical attention if there is swelling and/or deformity.
  3. Cleanse deep abrasions with soap and water.
  4. Seek medical attention for deep abrasions/lacerations or if the surrounding skin becomes red and warm.
  5. Seek medical attention if the child cannot stand or walk on an injured extremity.
  6. Take any symptoms of headache seriously and seek medical attention.

If a parent suspects a possible fracture, seek emergency medical care. Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital's urgent care treats pediatric fracture patients right away, regardless of insurance. Immediate attention helps avoid the possible need for surgery or a potential deformity if a broken bone is left untreated.

The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Medical Center Urgent Care is located at 2400 South Flower Street and is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Call (213) 742-1162 for questions regarding services.

About Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital:

Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital is a recognized world leader in orthopaedic patient care, education and research. The hospital provides improved quality of life for children and adults with crippling disorders. For nearly a century, Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital has been helping children afflicted with these conditions to lead healthy, active lives, regardless of their family's ability to pay. The hospital is supported by the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation and is expanding its treatment and research facilities both in downtown Los Angeles and across the Westside. In alliance with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the new Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital is nearing completion and the Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center opened its doors in 2007. It is the largest and most sophisticated musculoskeletal research facility in the world.

SOURCE Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital
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