How to Care for Your Child with Finger Fracture
This leaflet will provide you with information about Finger fracture, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and home care advice.
What is Finger Fracture?
A "fracture" is another word for a broken bone. A finger fracture is when a person breaks a finger bone.
What are the symptoms of Finger Fracture?
Symptoms of a finger fracture include:
- Weakness of the hand
- A finger fracture can also make the finger bent in an abnormal position.
How is Finger Fracture diagnosed?
The doctor will ask a few questions about your child's health, examine your child, and then order an X-ray.
How is Finger Fracture treated?
- Finger fractures are usually treated with a splint, "buddy taping," or both. This depends on the type of finger fracture your child has and how severe it is.
- If your doctor advises giving medicine for pain, you can give:
- Paracetamol (any brand) or, Ibuprofen (any brand)
- Follow the instruction on the medicine package for the correct dose for your child
- Do not give your child Aspirin as this can cause a serious complication
- A splint or buddy tape (using tape to hold the injured finger to a neighbouring finger) keeps the broken bone from moving while it heals. Taking good care of the splint or tape and treating pain will help keep your child comfortable while healing.
- Fractures can take weeks to months to heal, depending on the type of fracture.
- Follow up appointments usually are not required. Your doctor will advise you if your child needs a follow-up appointment.
Home care advice
To help reduce the swelling and relieve pain:
- Raise the hand on pillows when your child is sitting down or sleeping.
- If your child was given a sling, use it as directed. Don't use the sling during sleep.
- Remind your child to wiggle the uninjured fingers to keep blood circulating normally
- When your child is awake, put ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel on the broken finger for 20 minutes every 3 hours for up to 2 days. Don't put ice directly on the skin.
Daily care if your child has a splint:
- Don't remove or change the position of the splint unless your doctor said it's OK.
- Check the area around the splint. Ensure the skin is not scratched and the fingers are not pale, blue, numb or tingling.
- Make sure your child does not pick or scratch under the splint.
- Do not put anything in the splint. For example, make sure your child does not put toys, food or other objects into it.
- Keep dirt, sand, lotion and powder away from the splint.
- Keep the splint dry
- Put a plastic covering over the splint when your child bathes.
- If the splint is accidentally splashed, gently blow air onto it from a hairdryer on the cool setting.
Daily care if your child has tape:
- If you do not see dirt on the skin, your child should use a hand sanitiser instead of washing hands with soap and water.
- Replace the tape as you were taught if it gets wet or dirty.
- Keep cotton or gauze between the buddy-taped fingers to protect the skin.
- Loosen the tape if it feels too tight.
When should I seek medical advice?
Seek medical care if:
- Pain does not improve with medicine.
- Blisters, rashes or raw spots appear on the skin around the splint or tape.
- A foul smell or drainage comes from the splint or tape.
- Your child gets a fever while the finger is healing.
- The splint feels too tight
- Your child's fingers are pale, cold, numb or tingly.
- Your child has a splint, and it cracks, becomes loose, gets wet or falls