Child Back Injury: When to See a Doctor

If you have kids, you know that injuries happen from time to time. Kids can be rough and tumble, so it’s not unusual for them to experience some scraped knees, strains, and sprains. While you expect the normal bumps and bruises, a back injury can be a cause for concern. Depending on the severity of the injury, you might need to call 911, head straight to the doctor’s office, or schedule an appointment during regular office hours. Find out what you should do if your child has a back injury.

When to Call 911

If your child has back pain right after suffering a significant injury, do not move him or her. Instead, call 911, so an emergency provider can use a spine board to move your child. Major injuries can be caused by car accidents and falls, and kids can also become seriously injured when playing sports. If you are in doubt, call 911. It’s always wise to be safe when a child is hurt in an accident. 

When to Go Directly to the Doctor’s Office

Some back injuries require immediate care, but you do not have to call 911. Instead, you can load your child up in your vehicle and head directly to the emergency room or doctor’s office. Do just that if your child has severe back pain. You will know if your child is in severe pain if he or she cannot engage in normal activities. You should also go to the doctor immediately if your child loses feeling in his or her feet, has blood in the urine, or experiences pain when passing urine. Also, if the back injury is accompanied by a fever or your child acts sick, it is time to go to the doctor.

When to Call the Doctor During Normal Business Hours 

What happens if your child has a back injury, but it is not an emergency? You can call the doctor during normal business hours and schedule an appointment in these cases.

If your child is less than five years old and has a back injury, call the doctor as soon as the office opens. Also, if you cannot determine the cause of the injury, it is wise to call the doctor for an evaluation. If the child doesn’t walk normally for three or more days, or an overuse injury lasts longer than two weeks, it’s also a good idea to make the call. Finally, if your child experiences frequent back problems, call the doctor for an evaluation. The doctor can check your child and find out why he or she continues to experience back problems.

Don’t Ignore Back Pain

As a parent, you know that injuries happen from time to time, but do not ignore back injuries. If your child has a major injury, call 911. Otherwise, evaluate your son or daughter to determine the severity of the injury. Then you can go directly to the doctor’s office or set up an appointment the next day. Your injury doctor will evaluate your child and provide treatment if necessary.