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Crutches and children - proper fit and safety tips

After surgery or an injury, your child may need crutches to walk. Your child needs crutches for support so that no weight is put on your child's leg. Using crutches isn't easy and takes practice. Make sure that your child's crutches fit right and learn some safety tips.

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Fitting Crutches

Ask your child's health care provider to fit the crutches to your child. Proper fit makes using crutches easier and keeps your child from getting hurt when using them. Even if your child is fitted for their crutches:

Safety Tips

Teach your child to:

Things parents can do:

When to Call the Doctor

Call the provider if your child does not seem safe on crutches even after practicing with you. The provider can refer you to a physical therapist who can teach your child how to use crutches.

If your child complains of numbing, tingling, or loss of feeling in their arm or hand, call the provider.

References

American Academy of Othopaedic Surgeons website. How to use crutches, canes, and walkers. orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/how-to-use-crutches-canes-and-walkers. Updated February 2015. Accessed November 18, 2018.

Edelstein J. Canes, crutches, and walkers. In: Webster JB, Murphy DP, eds. Atlas of Orthoses and Assistive Devices. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019 chap 36.

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Review Date: 11/5/2018  

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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