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What to do with your child’s sprains and strains this summer

Over the summer holidays many children will be enjoying the weather outdoors or joining summer sport clubs, there are bound to be falls and slips resulting in sprains and strains.

NHS Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are advising parents on how to make sure their child is properly prepared.

Being active and playing sport is good for your child’s health - it builds confidence, social skills and improves concentration and learning. It also maintains a healthy weight and helps aid sleep. So, to help your child get the most out of an active summer break follow these simple tips.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at both CCGs said:

“If your child shows signs of an ankle sprain or strain they are likely to experience pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness around the joint or in the muscle. They may also find it difficult to move their ankle.

“Most sprains and strains are relatively minor and can be treated at home with self-care techniques, such as PRICE therapy or paracetamol. Your local pharmacy can advise on a range of over the counter medicines suitable for your child.”

PRICE stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Protect the injury by
Resting the area for at least 48 hours
Ice packs should be used on the first day of getting the injury for 20 minutes, up to eight times
Compress with a bandage
Elevating the injury for an hour or so will also help the recovery and decrease the swelling

Dr Clayton added:

“Soft tissues can take up to four weeks to heal so the child may need to play more gently for a while.

“If you have used these measures and the child can’t stand on the leg, or they are in a lot of pain, they may need to see a health professional. Calling NHS111, which is free and available 24/7, you will get advice about what to do next or where to go to get further assessment and treatment.”

For more information about treating sprains and strains, visit www.nhs.uk