School Nurse Emergency Highlight - Fracture

School Nurses, teachers, staff and principals must be familiar with the school’s First Aid procedures relating to limb fractures.


  1. Support fracture in position of comfort for student, using their hand, cushion or clothing to prevent unnecessary movement.
  2. Supporting fracture may give pain relief and prevent further damage. If you've been trained in how to splint, apply splint to area above and below fracture. Padding splints may help reduce discomfort.
  3. Call 000 if injured area is obviously deformed or significantly painful. Make sure fracture is supported. Reassure student while waiting for ambulance.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if the student has a broken bone? They may have bruising, pain and swelling, or be lying in an unnatural position. In severe cases, the limb may be misshapen or have an open wound.

How do I support a broken bone? Do not move it unnecessarily. Place soft padding like clothing or blankets around the limb to align it until help arrives.

What do I do if the student won't let me support the injury? Try to encourage them to support the injury themselves by holding it. Cushions or padding can also be used to support the injury.

If a bone looks unnatural or dislocated, should I put it back in place? No. If there is a dislocation or the limb looks broken, the hospital will take care of it. Never attempt to put dislocations back in place as you may cause further damage.

What if everything looks normal and they only have a bruise? An injury from a fall or a blow from an object may indicate if there is a broken bone. But it is usually impossible to differentiate a fracture, sprain or strain without an X-ray.

The student can move their limb or stand on it. Does this mean they probably haven't got a broken bone? Not necessarily. An X-ray is usually required to diagnose a broken bone. The person may still have a broken bone, even if they can move their limb. Call 000 if the injury causes pain or discomfort and symptoms do not improve.

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