Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

First Aid: Dislocations

First Aid

A dislocation is when two connected bones slip out of position in a joint. Dislocations are caused by falls and hard impacts, such as in sports injuries, and are more common in teens than young children. These injuries require emergency medical care to avoid further damage.

Signs and Symptoms

A joint is where two or more bones come together. A joint may be dislocated if it is:

  • swollen
  • bruised or red
  • painful
  • difficult to move
  • out of place

What to Do

If you think your child has a dislocation, get emergency medical care or call 911. Until care arrives:

  • Leave the joint alone. Attempting to move or jam a dislocated bone back in can damage blood vessels, muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
  • Put an ice pack covered in a cloth on the area around the joint. Ice can ease swelling and pain in and around the joint.
  • Use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.

Think Prevention!

  • Make sure kids wear safety gear during sports activities.
  • Supervise children when they're playing — a hard fall can happen anywhere, anytime.
  • Avoid tugging hard on a young child's arm or shoulder, which can cause injury or dislocation.

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date Reviewed: 02-07-2018

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.