Broken Clavicle! Need Care Tips!

Updated on June 22, 2011
R.C. asks from Sterling, IL
11 answers

Last Thursday my 4 year old daughter fell and broke her left forearm. That Saturday she fell out of a swing and broke her right clavicle. Arm is doing better in a splint but this broken clavicle is throwing me for a loop! She's a in a sling but the hardest part for me is getting her dressed. Has anyone had to go through this and if so, any tricks or tips for getting them dressed? I'm up for any creative ideas no matter how it looks! I've considered cutting up old t-shirts so anything is welcome! Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Wow everyone! Thank you so much for your responses. Since getting her sling it seems that her pain level has decreased significantly. We found she hurts worse in the morning, which makes sense you are stiff and sore from laying in one spot all night, so we would just put her in comfy clothes for PJ's that she could keep on and wear the next day. If we had to change bottoms to make a more appropriate outfit it wasn't an issue. Now that her pain and somewhat subsided it's a lot easier to care for her. Again, thank you all for your great suggestions!

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answers from Dallas on

ouch, poor little thing! i've destroyed my shoulder/collar bones on multiple occassions as an adult, and the best thing to do is button up/zip up shirts. there are a LOT of styles of summer shirts that button up the back - or even little dresses that zip or button up the back, thus allowing you to not lift up her arm, would be best in terms of pain and healing. hope she's feeling better really soon!

edited to add: also, true halter tops would be great if it's warm enough - the kind that tie around the back of the neck - just have her step into the shirt/dress, pull it up to her arm pits, then tie it around her neck... she wouldn't really have to move her arms at all for that!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I hope your daughter feels better soon.
I went through that with my little girl last year when she was 3. She broke the left side of her was so hard for me to see her in so much pain. The doctors just told me to give her motrin for pain. She slept for the first two weeks in a lazy boy reclinder. As for dressing her I couldn't figure out how to dress her with out her being in pain. She actually wore the same hannah montana tank top for 4 days my daughter didn't mind, she now laughs at it when she comes across that top.. What worked for us was I asked friends and family if they had any kid size clothes with buttons that seem to work wonders for us.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Don't dress her every day. There is no rule that says she has to get out of PJ's for anything. If you need to go to the store I would even let them were the jammies there if they were not

The collar bone is the worst!!!!! She is in pain. It is the hardest bone to break due to every movement of the ribcage moves it. She has to be struggling. Let her be. Let her dress herself. She will not move her body to the point it hurts her. You can seriously hurt her by just lifting her arm to put a sleeve on.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I'd let her dress herself or does she have anything to help with pain? If so, let that kick in before trying to dress her. But I'd let her do it, she will know how to move better so it doesn't hurt as much. Can she wear dresses? Halter top dresses

or the halter active tops at children's place? Then you can have her step into them and pull them up from her feet, gently put it over her shoulder, and button it. Or strap dresses can be done to do the same, step in and all that. Or she can wear the same stuff for a couple days before changing. It's worth it for her not to be in so much pain. That is what I thought of. My 2 yr old steps into her dresses sometimes just because and there's not a lot of pull after you button it. We got some cute halter sundresses for $8 at Kohls the other day and they aren't low cut or anything.

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answers from Chicago on

Oh, I'm so sorry! I wonder if sun dresses would be a possibility, just slip them right up. If you sew even a little, you could make a pillowcase dress using pillowcases. Cutting up your T-shirts and then attaching colorful ties to close it up around the difficult areas might also work.

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answers from Houston on

My husband had a broken clavicle, it just snapped when he was wrestling with a friend, It healed wrong and now it looks "off". I would very thoroughly investigate its healing process and get anything you can from a doctor to help.

But you pretty much just have to wait those things out.

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answers from Cleveland on

My daughter's was broken at age 7 and I recall getting her dressed was very difficult (definitely kept to short sleeves, perhaps a few blouses? Believe it or not, the thing had healed enough in a week to where it no longer hurt! In kids, it heals very quickly. The pediatrician and I both flinched when she pushed off on her arm to climb the examination table - didn't hurt her at all!

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answers from Dallas on

Oh what memories. Last summer (July) my 5 yr old fell at Grandmas and broke her right one, then in Sept fell out of a chair at school and broke her left one. So I guess you can say I'm an expert. LOL

Since its summer time, what we did was I went to Childrens Place and bought one of ever color of the halter tops they carry and we lived in them. Just get them a size bigger. Have her step into them and then bend her kneck down and put the strap over her kneck. We wore everything over the sling thing. Really its not a sling that we had. We had that thing that went under both arms and crossed in the back at her shoulder blades.

The doctor says says keep them in the brace for like 6-8 weeks. My daughter wore her for maybe 3 weeks. She even did cheerleading. So give her a break from the sling if she wants it. This bone heals very fast in young kids and your daughter is not going to do anything that hurts. Mine didnt even take pain meds past 2 days. Good luck

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answers from Chicago on

Oh my gosh what a way to start the summer! Poor thing! I don't know if this would be applicable or not because of her arm being broken too but my 6 yr old broke her clavicle rollerskating and the only way to get her dressed was either button down shirts or shirts with a huge head hole- we would ease the shirt up her arm so she wouldn't have to raise it at all and then slip it over her head and then do the other arm- or button down shirts which we could just ease up her arm on that side- don't know if that helps at all! Good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

I've done my own clavicle.

I lived in tank tops I could STEP into and pull up, dresses (that, again, were stepped into), and kimonos.

In the winter/ any time a coat is needed there's a "lurch & hold" kind of trick to putting on coats/ things with sleeves. You bend at the waist towards the side with the injured clavicle, put your arm in halfway (stretching being impossible) and then stand up pulling the coat or sleeved thing up your arm. That way your arm never actually moves, but the coat does. Usually when putting on coats/shirts you move your arm into a stationary hole. This is more like putting on nylons. You keep your arm still, and slide the sleeve over it. I found (with my own) it was easiest to keep my arm bent at the elbow, hence the bending sideways part.

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answers from Redding on

Good grief, she's on a roll huh?
It is summer, I'd cut up old t-shirts and do whatever you gotta do until she's in less pain. The collar bone will heal fairly quickly. Be glad it's not winter though, that would be tougher to dress.