Toddlers do not commonly suffer sprains and strains. Any injury is more likely to be a bone injury. Here’s why:
A sprain is when the ligament connecting the bones across a joint gets stretched too far or tears. The most used joints of the body (ankles, knees, wrist and elbows) are more susceptible to a sprain. The reason a sprain is uncommon in a toddler is that their ligaments at this stage are actually stronger than the bone surround them. Therefore, it is more likely that an injury will result in a broken bone than a sprain.
Strains occur when muscles or tendons which connect muscles to bone is stretched or torn. The reason that a strain is uncommon in a toddler is that they are usually not engaged in the kinds of activities that normally result in a strain such as lifting heavy items or a tough workout.
If your toddler is limping or holding their arm, first try to discern what happened. Next, look for swelling or bruising. If swelling is rapid, or there is significant bruising, you should probably get to the doctor. If there is no swelling but your toddler still refuses to use the limb, it is possible that there is a sprain or strain. Apply ice packs and keep the limb immobile. You can also give your toddler a children’s anti inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen (although avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma or other breathing conditions). A minor sprain or strain should take about a week or two to completely heal, while more serious sprains and strains can take months to completely heal.