Ankle sprains

First aid

Ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are common injuries in children who run, jump or play sports.

How does ankle sprains happen?
Ankles are made up of three bones with ligaments that hold the bones together. Ankle sprains usually happen when there is a twist and the ligaments are overstretched. This causes tears and bleeding, which show as bruising and swelling. 

Signs of ankle sprains

Care at home
You can usually care for a sprained ankle at home. Important is that you start right away and use the first aid principles RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) until the symptoms get better.

When to see a doctor?
Seek medical advice if your child is unable to put weight on the injured ankle immediately after the injury or can’t move the foot or if the pain from your child’s ankle has not improved after a few days.

When to take medication?
Some children will need medicine to help with the pain. In most cases, paracetamol is fine. Anti-inflammatory medications may help, but these are not suitable for every child. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before you give your child any medication. 

Things to avoid
In the first days after your child’s injury, avoid the following:

Ankle exercises
Encourage your child to gently exercise and stretch. This should begin almost immediately after their injury to minimise stiffness. If your child experiences significant pain, further rest is required. Here three things you can do:

Recovery time
You can expect your child to fully recover from most ankle sprains in one to two weeks.

How to prevent future accidents
To prevent future accidents, encourage your child to warm up before they exercise, and ensure they wear good shoes that are suitable for the sport.


Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (1 July 2020)


DownloadMali Daily Pregnancy Tracker

Daily Pregnancy & Parenting Tracker

Mali has 4.8 Stars from 5000+ ratings

4.8 Stars from 5000+ ratings