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Kids and Broken Bones


When a child takes a fall, they may impact their growth plate. What is it? “It’s a [developing] area of the long bone, like the femur or tibia that contributes to the length of your body,” says Dr. Francois Lalonde. Located close to a joint, including the hip, knee or ankle, the growth plate remains open until age 15 for girls and age 17 for boys.


“Wrists splints in skateboarding and certain roller skating activities would prevent a lot of fractures, especially growth plate fractures,” says Dr. Lalonde. “It only takes a few minutes to put on, doesn’t limit the enjoyment of the activity and can go a long way in preventing a fracture. And when trotting on the trampoline, to avoid crashes, there should only be one child on at a time.”

If it looks crooked or there’s a significant amount of swelling, you may be dealing with a broken bone, says Dr. Lalonde. “In general, if you touch the bone and your child jumps from the pain, you should get an X-ray,” he says, adding that some fracture patterns are pretty subtle and go unnoticed for several days.

If it seems like a mild injury, parents can:

  • Apply ice
  • Provide a temporary splint
  • Check-in with primary doctor the next day


  • The length of time that it takes for a growth plate fracture to heal: 3 to 6 weeks
  • The percentage of childhood injuries that affect the growth plate: 15-30%
  • The number of children 14 and under treated in the ER for trampoline related injuries: 80,000

Leading as the chair of the department of surgery, Dr. Francois Lalonde heads CHOC Children’s continuing efforts to provide the most thorough, timely access to surgical care for children in Orange County and beyond. .

Recognized internationally as an expert in pediatric orthopaedics, Dr. Lalonde is one of 10 orthopaedic surgeons selected across the United States to participate in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Leadership Fellow Program and has been appointed to the board of the California Orthopaedic Association. He serves on the CalOptima Peer Review and Credentialing Committee and has been selected among Orange County’s top doctors. Dr. Lalonde consistently receives the Orange County Medical Association Physician of Excellence award.

University of Toronto School of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Orthopedic Surgery

Francois Lalonde

CHOC Orthopaedic Institute

The CHOC Orthopaedic Institute is the only program of its kind in the region offering a wide range of comprehensive subspecialty programs specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of complex orthopaedic injury, illness and disorders in children and adolescents.

Common Playground Injuries

In this edition of American Health Jounal, Dr. Carl Weinert speaks about common playground injuries and gives safety tips to help decrease the possibility of injury. Dr. Weinert goes on to discuss the importance of treating your child at a children’s hospital like CHOC Children’s because of the specialized care they receive. For more information, go to

Is It Broken?

A broken bone requires emergency medical care.

How can you tell if your bone is broken? What should you do if you think it is broken? Here is a handy tip sheet with important information for dealing with a possible broken bone.


Knowledge is the best medicine. Learn more about your child's health in these features from the experts at CHOC.

Kids and Emergency Care
When it comes to children, a level of unique and specialized care is necessary. “There are a number of considerations in children you have to focus on, whether dealing with an infant, a neonate (less than 28 days old), a child or an adolescent,” says Dr. James Pierog.

Kids and Concussions
“The word concussion comes from the Latin word to shake violently. It’s a force that causes a temporary injury to the brain or spinal cord,” says Dr. Taraman. “A lot of times, people may hit their head and don’t realize it was a concussion.”

Kids and Stomachaches
So what causes tummy trouble? It can be as specific as an ulcer, a dietary issue, pneumonia or a sinus infection. Stomachaches are extraordinarily common. Although always a concern, the majority of kids with abdominal pain do not require urgent intervention.

The experts at CHOC Children’s and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital in partnership with the Orange County Register have developed this site to provide you with the information you need to help keep your children healthy. From immunizations to broken bones, we’re here to provide answers to some of parenting’s most common, and not-so-common, questions.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine