Trapped hands and fingers

Little fingers like to explore, but they can easily become stuck in small places. This may lead to hand or finger injuries. The bones and joints in the hand can suffer various types of injury, such as fractures, cuts, or bruising.

Read our advice below to find out how to treat your baby if they’ve trapped their hands or fingers.

Watch our video - hand and arm injuries

What to look for:

  • • Difficulty moving their fingers, hand or wrist
  • • They may appear to be in pain
  • • They may complain of tenderness, you may see swelling or bruising

What to do:

Hand and finger injuries

Support the affected handWrap the hand in soft, non-fluffy padding

1. Sit or lie your baby down and try to raise and support the affected hand. Treat any bleeding by running the cut under cold water and loosely cover the wound with a sterile dressing or large clean, non-fluffy pad.

2. Wrap the hand in soft, non-fluffy padding for extra protection.

3. Gently support the affected arm across your baby’s body by placing it in a sling if necessary.

4. Then seek advice from a healthcare professional, especially if there is injury to the nail or you think there may be a fracture.

Consider treating the pain with the recommended dose of paracetamol or Ibuprofen.

Forearm and wrist injuries - strains and sprains

If you think you toddler has injured their arm or wrist, they may have signs of swelling, bruising, or complain of pain in their arm. If you suspect a strain or sprain, remember RICE – Rest, Ice, Comfortable support, Elevation.

1. Rest - help your baby to sit or lie down and support their hand/arm in a comfortable raised position.

2. Ice - apply something cold as tolerated like a cold flannel, an ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a cloth. Don’t leave it on for more than ten minutes.

3. Comfortable support - leave the ice pack in place (for no longer than ten minutes) or wrap a soft layer of padding, e.g. cotton wool, around the area. Tie a support bandage around it to hold it in place. The support bandage should reach as far as the next joint on each side of the injured area.

4. Elevation – try to keep your baby’s hand/arm elevated on something soft like a cushion.

5. If your baby appears to be in severe pain, or they can’t use their hand or wrist at all, take them to see a healthcare professional for advice.

Consider treating the pain with the recommended dose of paracetamol.

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