A dislocated elbow…

So yesterday was a particularly stressful day. The girls were unwell with hand foot and mouth and I was trying to get them ready for the school run. Daddy was still around and we were having a little play with Jelly Baby – she wanted to be swung by us so was holding our hands and not putting her feet on the floor.

Then she started to cry. I realised straight away that she had hurt her arm. She whimpered whenever I tried to touch it or move it although she wasn’t crying anymore. We had breakfast which she ate with her left hand and refused to use her right arm at all. So after dropping Bean to school off we went to the local minor injuries unit to have it checked out.

Turns out that my poor little baby had a dislocated elbow – or ‘pulled elbow’ or ‘nursemaid’s elbow’ as it is sometimes called. One of the bones in the arm comes out of joint if an arm is pulled or if the child is swung ┬áby the arms.

Apparently it is really common in under 5’s as their bones / muscles etc are still developing. The nurse at the hospital was great, a couple of twists and it was back in place. Horrible for the moment she was doing it but immediately Jelly Baby’s arm went back to normal. She watched her play a little and then we were allowed home. She never complained about her arm again so it was clearly just fine.

The thing that gets me was that we didn’t really pull on her arm – and we weren’t even properly swinging her and this happened. We will certainly never be swinging her again and will always be very careful with holding her by the arm. It is horrible to think that just a simple playful swing could result in a dislocation of your baby’s joint but that is what can happen.

A big thank you to our local minor injuries unit who saw us, and fixed her arm in only half an hour. Brilliant service from the NHS.



  1. October 10, 2013 / 6:02 pm

    I know how you feel, my daughter was playing with her little sister who was 3 at the time when we heard screaming, i thought she had fallen from the bed but her sister had been swinging her round and the elbow had been dislocated, such a worry, especially when older siblings are playing “rough” glad it was nothing serious tho xx

  2. October 10, 2013 / 7:15 pm

    Aww bless her!! Hope it’s not too sore!!

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