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Collar Bone Injury

Parents of young, active kids or of teens who participate in sports, take note! Your child may be at high risk for a collar bone injury.

A collar bone injury most often affects athletes, particularly those in contact sports like football, and children, whose bones are still growing and hardening. A little awareness can help you take charge in the face of a collar bone injury emergency.

The collar bone, which is located in the shoulder, connects the arm to the body and can be very painful when it sustains an injury. The collar bone is located around nerves and blood vessels, but the collar bone does its job in protecting these nerves, which are typically not harmed in a collar bone injury. Recovery from a collar bone injury typically involves immobilizing the arm entirely for four to eight weeks.

The bones in the human body do not harden and grow to their full size until about the age of twenty, so children are especially susceptible to collar bone injury if they are not careful. Some babies even sustain a collar bone injury as they are born and exit the birth canal, although this kind of collar bone injury is rare and can be healed over a matter of weeks.

Sports such as rugby and football are the most common causes of collar bone injury in teens. A blow on the shoulder or falling on the shoulder against a hard surface can easily lead to collar bone injury. Be sure that your child wears shoulder guards if he or she participates in a high-contact sport to decrease the risk of collar bone injury.

How can you be sure if your child has suffered from a collar bone injury?

If there is swelling in or a bump on the shoulder, the shoulder sags or leans down and forward, or the injured is unable to lift his or her arm due to pain.

If you suspect a collar bone injury, take your child to the emergency room or to a physician immediately. Before you can see a doctor to treat the collar bone in jury, try to immobilize the arm by wrapping a cloth bandage in a figure eight pattern around the body.

Although surgery is sometimes required to heal a collar bone injury, in most cases, the collar bone injury is able to heal itself, although a painless bump may form that causes difficulty when wearing straps over the shoulder. You may opt for surgery to correct the collar bone injury bump in time, anyway.

Children and teens are not the only ones susceptible to collar bone injury, of course. Adults can take twice as long--sometimes as long as four months--to heal a collar bone injury. The elderly and those who suffer from osteoporosis are at a high risk from suffering from a collar bone injury if they fall.

Take as many precautions as you can to avoid collar bone injury.

Supervise your children at play, make sure that your sport-playing teen wears the proper protective gear, and have an elderly person's home equipped with safety bars for him or her to hold on to.

Still, nothing is entirely preventable, so do a little research at and be prepared to deal with collar bone injury should the need ever arise!

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