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Health Information For Parents
The collarbone (also called the clavicle) is the bone that connects the breastbone to the shoulder. A broken collarbone, also called a clavicle fracture, is when this bone breaks.
Falling hard on a shoulder or an outstretched arm can fracture a collarbone. This can happen in sports like football, lacrosse, hockey, biking, skateboarding, and skiing. It can also happen when a young child falls from playground equipment or out of a bed or crib. The collarbone also can break in a car crash or if someone is hit by a car.
Someone who breaks a collarbone might have:
To diagnose a collarbone fracture, health care providers:
Most broken collarbones heal with ice, arm support, pain medicine, and exercises. The arm is supported either by a sling or a shoulder immobilizer. A shoulder immobilizer is like a sling, but also has a strap that goes around the waist.
To care for your child while the collarbone heals:
For about the first 4–6 weeks, your child should:
Call your health care provider if your child has pain or swelling that gets worse.
Even if the broken bones aren’t perfectly lined up, the body usually can make them straight again. That’s because the collarbone has a thick periosteum (outer layer of the bone). The collarbone periosteum doesn’t usually break, so it acts like a sleeve to hold the bone together while it heals. Rarely, the doctor might recommend surgery if the broken bones are very out of line.
Sometimes, there’s a bump where the bone broke. In kids who are still growing, the bump tends to get smaller and go away within a year. Sometimes the bump doesn’t fully go away. But it doesn’t hurt or cause other problems with the arm or shoulder.
Your health care provider will see your child again and let you know when it’s OK to go back to sports. This is usually when:
In general, kids can go back to noncontact sports (such as running or swimming) in about 6 weeks and contact sports (such as football, lacrosse, and hockey) in 8–12 weeks.
Most broken collarbones heal quickly and completely. Within a few months, your child should be able to do everything he or she did before the injury.
Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Here’s what to expect.
A broken bone needs emergency medical care. Here’s what to do if you think your child just broke a bone.
Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal, especially in kids. Full healing can take time, but new bone usually forms a few weeks after an injury.
Here’s how to help protect kids from a dangerous fall or a tumble into a sharp edge in your home.
Although most result in mild bumps and bruises, some falls can cause serious injuries that need medical attention.
A broken collarbone is one of the most common types of broken bones. Find out how it can happen – and how to treat and avoid fractures.
Playing hard doesn’t have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.
You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries – and how to avoid getting them.
Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here’s how to protect your kids.
With a properly designed and supervised program, strength training can be a fun way for kids to build healthy muscles, joints, and bones.
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs to work properly. They boost the immune system, promote normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs.
Sports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids.
What happens when you break a bone?
Is working out with weights safe for teens? The best way to build muscle tone and definition is to combine aerobic and flexibility exercises with the right kind of strength training.
Bones are tough stuff – but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures.
Our bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities.
We build almost all our bone density when we’re kids and teens. Kids with strong bones have a better chance of avoiding bone weakness later in life. Here’s how parents can help.
How long does a broken bone take to heal? Find out!
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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