Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
Elbow Dislocation
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Elbow Dislocation

I am a US expat living in China.  I have an almost 3 year old son.  This evening about halfway through dinner my son started saying that his arm hurt and he held it close by his side not wanting to use it at all.  At first I thought he was just trying to get attention because my Chinese wife was reacting so dramatically to it.  He did not cry or wince in pain when it was touched, but he did not want it moved.  We tried to get him to reach for toys or chocolate and he would not.  Finally, we broke down and decided to go brave the Chinese health system (we just moved to a new city last weekend).

The doctor immediately identified it as being dislocated and popped it back into place (this hurt my son and he cried just a little).  My question is what could have caused this?  And does it happen easily?  I have read online that it is usually caused by pulling a child by one arm, but I know that did not happen.  We don't play rough with my son as roughhousing is not culturally normal over here and my wife doesn't like it.  Furthermore, we have good friends whose son had a dislocated elbow from roughhousing with dad, so my wife is especially sensitive to it.  Also, before dinner my wife told me that she only lifted our son up on his stool (grabbing under his armpits) to brush his teeth and then doing the same to place him in his dinner seat.

I am really confused...kids are usually so tough.  How could this happen so easily and unexpectedly?
Avatar_m_tn
it's probably nursemaids elbow. the family I nanny for has 6 kids and it's happened three times in super calm circumstances. it can happen with super gentle tugs depending on the kid, or swinging them by their arms, or even if they were weight bearing while holding onto something. it can be common in certain kids it seems like. just be aware of it, theres also videos online on how to put it back into place if it happens again.
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