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Injury Prevention and Safety

My toddler injured his toe - what can I do?

08/02/2007

Question:

I have an almost 2year-old son. Yesterday he dropped a heavy wooden play activity on his big toe. his toenail has turned to a purple colored blacknblue. i took him 2 the emergency room where they took some x-rays. they said he has an abrassion under the nail which is causing the color,that his nail may fall offand other than tylenol there isnt alot they or i can do. i feel helpless n now my son tries sucking his toe or holding it up n says "owe". is there anything i can do for him? or to prevent the nail from falling off?

Answer:

Your son has a hematoma or small pool of blood under the nail. The pressure of the pooled blood under the nail on the nerves in the toe is causing the pain. It is worthwhile to ask his doctor if it would be a good idea for you to bring in your son and have the doctor try to release the blood, although it may have formed a clot by now. Applying ice and elevating his foot while he naps may also help limit the swelling and relieve the pain along with the acetominophen or Tylenol. Distraction helps too, so keep him busy with activities, stories, and a video or two to keep the focus off of his toe.

I hope he feels better soon!

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University