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Make sure you don’t let minor sprains and strains spoil half term

With half term around the corner, many children will be looking forward to getting out of the classroom and going out to play but all the running around does increase the likelihood of trips and falls. Doctors at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) want to make sure you know how to treat minor strains and sprains at home.

Being active and playing outdoors 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.

Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:

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

“Most sprains and strains are relatively minor and can be treated at home with self-care techniques, just remember ‘PRICE’:

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 – a bag of frozen peas wrapped up in a tea towel does the job well
Compress with a bandage
Elevating the injury for an hour or so will also help the recovery and decrease the swelling

“For sprains and strains you don’t immediately need to get emergency help, just follow the PRICE steps and the injury will start to heal. Sprains and strains can take up to four weeks to recover so they may need to rest their injury and play more gently for a while.

“If you have used these measures and your child is still in a lot of pain, they may need to see a health professional. Either of the local Minor Injuries Units at Rawtenstall and Accrington can deal with injuries such as sprains or suspected broken bones. Details of these can be found online at https://www.elht.nhs.uk/patients/feeling-unwell.
For more information about treating sprains and strains, visit the NHS website – www.nhs.uk

Or visit: http://www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk/childhood-illnesses-blackburn/ and
https://eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/ci/bumps.html