A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that hold your bones together.  A strain is an injury to the muscle or muscle tendon from stretching or pulling.




1.      Rest the injured area.  Do not allow your child to put weight or stress on the injured area until your doctor tells you this is OK.

2.      Apply ice to the injured area for 20 minutes every 4 hours for the first 2 days following the injury. 

3.      Keep the injured area elevated as much as possible to help decrease swelling.

4.      Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. 


Call your child’s doctor or return to the Emergency Department if:


1.      Your child has increased redness or swelling at the injury site.

2.      Your child complains of numbness or tingling in the injured extremity or the extremity feels cold.

3.      Your child is not feeling better in 3 to 5 days.

4.      You have any other questions or concerns.