Surprisingly, the collarbone, or clavicle, is one of the more commonly broken bones during childhood. This is due to the way in which the clavicle grows. It is one of the last bones in the body to harden. In fact, until adulthood, the collarbone is not completely hard.
A broken collarbone can occur when a toddler falls on their shoulder and compresses the clavicle. It is also very common for babies to be born with broken collarbones from difficult deliveries.
In a toddler with a broken collarbone, you will notice that one shoulder sags and leans to the front. The toddler will not want to lift her arm and will keep it close to her ribcage. There could be swelling and bruising on the collarbone, and perhaps a protrusion where the bone is broken. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
Once the doctor determines that the break has not damaged blood vessels or nerves, a sling or brace will be fitted and you’ll be sent home with advice on how to treat your child. A toddler with a broken collarbone will usually not require surgery. The break will heal within eight weeks and there are usually no lasting effects.