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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD broke her leg today.... any tips on keeping a hyper 4 year old from losing her mind with boredom being stuck on the couch til she gets a heel on monday?

(78 Posts)
PinkTulips Sat 05-Sep-09 23:00:44

She snapped straight through the bone in her lower leg being pulled off a wall by her friend at another friends birthday party.

She's been such a trooper, i honestly didn't think there was much wrong with her but brought her to be x-rayed (50 miles in dp's old banger of a car) just to be safe. I almost turned back in the hospital car park as she was so lively and perky and her usual cheeky self. I think even the hospital staff were doubtful there was much wrong with her until the x ray came back and showed her bone was broken diagonally and slightly seperated shock

She's in a thigh high cast and was almost admitted, only her perkiness prevented them keeping her in overnight but we're back on monday for fracture clinic and hopefully a heel and crutches.

She's normally incredibly active and lively though, even if she's watching tv she's normally up and moving while it's on so i have no idea how she'll cope being stuck on the couch.... she was trying to climb out of the buggy i had her in at the hospital before she had the cast on!

Help! Advice! A stiff drink!

PinkTulips Sat 05-Sep-09 23:47:35

nobody?

we're running out of kids tv that still showing at this time of night and she's refusing to go to bed!

serenity Sat 05-Sep-09 23:49:30

DD fractured her leg Christmas 2007, just after she turned 4 and ended up in a full length cast. I have to say the 3 days before the proper cast was put on was pretty bleh. Like your DD she was confined to the sofa, had to go in a buggy (we had to get her to sit on a plank as her leg was originally plastered straight and it was uncomfortable unless it was fully supported) What did we do? *thinks back* lot's of colouring and drawing on a tray on her lap, DVDs, books, big pile of toys on a low table next to her.

It was far easier with the proper cast - it weighed a lot less, and DD was painfree almost as soon as it was put on (was having to alternate paracetamol and ibuprofen throughout the weekend - even at night. She kept waking up crying when she moved in her sleep sad)

She didn't need crutches at all, she mastered a very odd lurch that meant she could get a good head of speed without them (plus our hospital doesn't give them out, would have had to contact local charity to get them!) She used the buggy if we were going long distances, but she was back in Nursery the day after, and got around the classroom ok (should say they let her back because I'm CRB checked and I said I'd stay - she had to have help going to the toilet, and did need someone to hand just in case)

I have to say as well, be prepared for difficulties when the cast comes off. DD found it very hard to walk without it. She was very sore and unhappy for a good while. I'd say it took a good 6 weeks to recover from the 4 weeks with the cast on! IIRC we went to Disneyland Paris at the end of February, and I hired a buggy there because she still tired easily.

Anyway, hope some of that helped and I hope your DD gets well soon! I think there's a picture of DD in her eyeblindingly bright yellow cast on my profile (we've still got it, it's so small compared to her leg now grin)

serenity Sat 05-Sep-09 23:51:31

DD ended up sleeping with me that first weekend (chucked DH onto the sofa) It was the only way to settle her unfortunately.

serenity Sat 05-Sep-09 23:53:00

Pictures not there! I must have tidied it off.

pipsqueak Sat 05-Sep-09 23:57:04

pinktulips no additional advice but she sounds very brave !! what about playdough on a tray ?

woodenchair Sun 06-Sep-09 00:08:39

Does she like the computer? There are loads of websites for kids type in the name of any tv ptogram and i bet theres a website for it.

You have my sympathies ds did this at 2.5 it was a long 6weeks! Like your dc he didn't make a fuss. They missed the fracture at the first hospital and sent us home.

2 days later i went to see the gp as he wasn't putting ant weight on it, he gave me a letter to take to a&e. Again because he didn't make a fuss they wouldn't even xray him. So i took him to another hospital insisted on an xray and further up his leg was a big spiral fracture straight through the bone!

Anyway, back to your dd, do you have any games consoles or lego maybe?

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 00:13:54

Thanks serenity... hadn't thought of the health and safety aspect at school... i was hoping she could go in once she gets the proper cast but now you mentioned it going to the loo would be an issue... wonder if they'd let her go anyway as i live literally across the road from the school so could be there in 30 seconds if they rang me? She only started last week and loves it so much my heart is breaking that she'll have to miss so much.

The cats are taking it in turns to cuddle her now, hopefully they'll help keep her entertained for the next day or so.... she keeps trying to shift about and put weight on the damn leg though and it's only a half cast so she's really not supposed to be doing that.... may have to tie her down at this rate!

Interesting about how your daughter struggled without the cast when it was removed... another thing to worry about!

Thanks again, and thatnks pipsquaek too smile

AnyFucker Sun 06-Sep-09 00:19:01

she is too young for crutches (not sufficiently co-ordinated)

they are more likely, if she cannot fully weight bear on a walking heel, to give you a zimmer frame (kiddy size)

if she can fully weightbear, thy may give you nothing at all, depends on the nature of the fracture

alternatively, if she must not weightbear under any circumstances they may lend you a wheelchair (or give you details of where to hire one)

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 00:28:51

x posts wooden chair

How awful for your poor lad suffering all those days! Luckily there was no chance of missing dd's break on an xray, the bone was pulled apart at the break... the doctors face was almost as shocked as mine

She loves the playstation but has a habit of physically moving herself in sync with the game... thank god for wireless controllers because she wanders all over the room playing it, not sure if it might aggravate the situation now though.

We've just put her to bed, lights on, pillow under the leg and kitten purring in the crook of her arm so hopefully she'll pass out before the painkillers wear off.

thanks all smile

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 00:32:12

AnyFucker... they tried her on crutches tonight and she was too small for the ones they had on A&E but the nurse said similar to you, they'd either find ones small enough, just let her weightbear and limp or find a frame for her. Judging by the fact she's already attempted to stand on the damn thing i'd imagine it'll be a cast and told to limp.

The fracture is a 'undisplaced spiral fracture on the lower 1/3 of the tibia'... have been snooping in her referral letter to fracture clinic grin

AnyFucker Sun 06-Sep-09 00:35:38

there are frames small enough for her, but might be more dangerous than to let her just limp tbh

most children of 4 will just hold the frame in the air, or lean back, potentially falling over shock

she might "get" it if she is bright though, to lean forward onto the frame

not crutches though

serenity Sun 06-Sep-09 00:38:50

The first cast is a pita. DD managed to break it at the knee joint and at the ankle! Be careful, it seems tough but it's ridiculously easy to break. DD fell over trying to get about when my back was turned. It is exhausting, but you just have to keep up with distractions to keep them in one place.

Ohhh and clothes... New cast will be thinner, you'll be able to get underwear on (DD wore her brothers old boxers for the first weekend, couldn't stretch the elastic of hers over the cast)

For clothes, I cut half a leg off of a pair of tights. She then wore them with shorts or a dress, with the cut end tucked neatly down the top of the cast, and one of her brother's socks over her bare toes and the bottom of the cast. Boy's jogging bottoms fit over the top too (she wore joggers as part of her school uniform luckily) and I got her some yoga style loose trousers from H&M.

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 00:40:02

is it wrong that i giggled at the mental image of a 4 year old waving a frame in the air and looking perplexed when they topple backwards?

<<<< sends self to naughty corner >>>>>

she probably is bright enough but the damage she'd do to the ds' with a weapon frame or crutch is not worth thinking about, i'm tending towards letting her limp.

I fractured my ankle at 8 and was refusing to use the crutches by week 3 anyway, i found limping easier.

AnyFucker Sun 06-Sep-09 00:41:43

keep your sense of humour pt, you are going to need it smile

weegiemum Sun 06-Sep-09 00:41:49

Your poor dd!

My dd (5) is movement restricted due to a hip condition and she was diagnosed at 4 - not long before she started school. She's now in Primary 2. She can't run, jump, walk for long, etc .... and before that she never ever stopped - she was one of those children who never walked - she got on her tippitoes at 13 months and ran!

Computer games are a great idea - my dd2 likes CBeebies and Girls Go Games.

Ideas?
Jigsaws, board games.
Drawing, keeping a diary of what it was like to have a broken leg?
Plasticine
Lego
Making things - my dd is already making CHristmas cards so we have a stock come december (very proud of herself for this).
teach her to knit or do cross-stitch?
I do a lot of my cooking at the dining table to be with dd - peeling potatoes, carrots, basic chopping, whisking, rolling out etc can all be done seated.
Teach a new game - draughts? Cards? My d2 is now very slowly learning chess from her daddy.
A present to keep her amused if you can afford it, like a ds (you can get the older versions quite cheap on ebay)

If I think of anything else I'll come back - and will be keeping a close eye for good ideas I can use!

Would like to second the comment about H&S at school - we had to have a full assessment before dd2 could go in her wheelchair. Luckily, they knew before the holidays so we were organised, but they must have an emergency procedure.

They'll have to make arrangements for breaks/lunch etc. Don't let them not do this.

She is going to be the class pet/heroine now, you realise!!

Hope she is better soon - kids heal up very fast!

serenity Sun 06-Sep-09 00:42:56

DD gave us enough bruises whacking us with the damned cast that even the thought of her let loose with a crutch gives me cold sweats grin She wasn't the most delicate of creatures.

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 00:43:17

Thank you! I was at a loss what to do about clothes! We almost had to cut her knickers off her and i'd already resigned myself to just not putting any on her in the morning but was seriously wondering what the hell she'd wear tomorrow, most of her pants are straight leg atm and way too narrow... half a pair of tights and a skirt should work great though.

she's already picking bits off the cast hmm

serenity Sun 06-Sep-09 00:48:41

And so it begins... grin

I guarantee that you will be far more stressed about this than she will be. They're just so resilient and adaptable at that age.

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 00:49:45

weegie, so sorry your poor dd has to go through all that. It sounds like you do lots to keep her busy though, thanks for all the tips.

As for class heroine, her best friend (the one who caused all this in the first place!) heard another mother at the party (before we headed to a&e) say;
'Poor thing, i hope she won't have to miss school' and announced that
'Sarah won't ever be able to go to school again now!'..... poor dd broke into tears at that, practially the only time she cried all day!

(sorry for overuse of the !!!!! by the way, i'm in a !!!!! frame of mind)

she seems to have dropped off so going to get some sleep myself, thanks again all... will keep ye posted on whether we survive the day tomorrow wink

PinkTulips Sun 06-Sep-09 12:29:52

Thanks for all the helpful advice last night everyone.

She's in good spitits today but keeps saying 'I don't like my leg being sore' and had a bit of a wibble earlier because she was upset about her bone being broken.

The one legged tights are a huge success and we've got loads of visitors and lots of arty stuff to do between visitors so she's not getting too stressed so far smile

redskyatnight Mon 07-Sep-09 12:24:33

My 3.5 year old DD has recently (last week) come out of a cast after breaking her femur so I know exactly how hard and frustrating this is.

First thing to say is that while you have your immobile child it seems as though it will never end ... but just get through each day at a time and you WILL get throught it.

DD had an all consuming cast (up to her waist) so she couldn't even sit up. I'm assuming with a lower leg fracture your DD will be able to?

It makes it easier if you can
- put a tray of stuff on her lap
- or bring a small table up to the sofa and get her to lie on her side (think jigsaws)

Things we did (ad nauseam)
- craft stuff (sticking anything on anything, painting if you are brave enough, threading)
- play doh
-drawing and colouring (those magnetic drawing boards are REALLY good)
- various games such as snap, "small" board games
- play doh (on tray)
- musical toys, play and sing along!
- cooking (put a mixing bowl on her lap)
- bubbles
- catch with a ball (gives illusion of moving)
- she liked getting out and about even if she couldn't move (are you getting a wheelchair or will she fit in standard pushchair)
- lots of dressing her dolls
- fighting with her brother (optional)

We found that DD eventually was able to pull herself along the floor with her upper body - this meant she could play with train sets, building blocks, bigger games ... anything that she could do on the floor - it did take her a while for her to be comfortable with that though.

Um, will post more if I think of any.

redskyatnight Mon 07-Sep-09 12:27:34

Also ... stickers (and sticker books)
- magnetic books (have a good one with fairy dressing up)
- fuzzy felt
- those activity books you can get
- hours doing her hair

We put everything to hand on the floor (lounge has been a complete tip but you get so fed up of going to get stuff for them)

DD has worn dresses only through the whole summer as we couldn't get anything else on her (don't know what you'd do with a boy!)

feetheart Mon 07-Sep-09 13:07:59

How are you getting on today?

My VERY active DS (3.3 when it happened) also had a spiral fracture of his tibia in February. He was in a lot of pain so we didn't have much of a problem keeping him on the sofa until the proper cast went on though I got VERY bored of Cars video!!
However as soon as the pain stopped there was no stopping him. He did get a frame which he used a bit, especially at pre-school, but preferred to 'sliver like a snake'
He had the full cast on for 4 weeks then a below-the-knee one for another 4 weeks. It was touch and go whether we made it to the final appointment or the cast fell off of its own accord as it was SO knackered!
Have great photos of him running and scootering on it

We got a pair of cheapy big canvas/velcro shoes once he was on his feet so we could cover the cast and we got one of these as recommended by a MNetter which was FANTASTIC. Meant he could have a bath as normal and he even went swimming in it! Would let you have it but its on loan at the moment.

We also went backwards a bit when the cast came off but probably for less than a week. He also had a very skinny, slightly scaly leg shock
Within 4-6 weeks you would never have known that he had done it!

Also be aware that it is VERY draining on you - both physically (carrying so much more than usual - upstairs to toilet/bed/etc, to/from car etc) and emotionally. I really needed some space/time for me in amongst it all and ended up doing the Couch Potato to 5k because it gave me the happy hormones without the hangover grin

MrsBadger Mon 07-Sep-09 13:16:08

yes buy her a Limbo ie waterproof cast cover immediately

they are worth their weight in gold and the people are lovely too

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