Broken clavicle

Information for Parents:

Caring for your child after a broken clavicle (collar bone)

How is it caused?

A broken clavicle (collar bone) usually happens after a fall onto the shoulder or an outstretched hand. It is a common injury in children, which heals well. Although painful to start with, it will improve quickly.

What are the features of a broken clavicle?

• Swelling, bruising over the collar bone.

• Feeling tender/painful. Your child might also feel pain in the arm.

• Reduced movement of shoulder/arm.

What will happen when my child attends the emergency department?

• Your child will be seen and assessed by the doctor or nurse practitioner.

• The doctor or nurse practitioner will examine your child’s injured shoulder/arm.

• An X-Ray will be taken to see if the collar bone is broken.

• A dose of paracetamol and/or ibuprofen will be given, if required, to relieve pain.

• A sling will be applied to support the arm, which your child can remove at night time or when the pain has settled.

• You will be given an appointment for your child to attend the return to the review clinic in the Emergency Department, in about 10 days time, to see if the bone is healing normally.

What else do I need to know?

At home your child will need to wear the sling for 10 days.

It should be removed at night. Use a pillow to support the arm in bed.


Your child can still take a bath or shower but should remove the sling first.

Daily activities

• Your child can go to school, but should not take part in games or PE until their clinic review.

• Your child must wear the sling at playtimes and when they are outside.

Pain relief

Paracetamol and/or ibuprofen can be given regularly to help stop any pain. Please follow the instructions on the bottle carefully, concerning dose and how often the medicine can be given. Make sure you do not give your child more than the recommended dose stated on the bottle.

Published on:
October 31, 2023

Book an appointment with a specialist.