"When a child has an injury it's hard to know right away whether or not there's a fracture or sprain," says Dr. Jeff Bennett, D.O., FAAP of KidMed.
The things that would make you want to get it evaluated -- especially for a lower extremity injury; leg, ankle or foot – is if the child cannot weight bear on it. They need to be evaluated. Most of those kids will need an x-ray if they're not able to weight bear or if there's significant swelling, says Dr. Bennett.
"If it is a sprain, as opposed to a fracture and we've done an x-ray and we don't see a fracture, the best thing is usually to put a splint on the ankle," says Dr. Bennett. "We have equipment. We have little gel ankle splints that we can put on. Those allow the child to still be able to move their ankle because you want it to move a little bit with the sprain. We expect improvement with that gel ankle splint and ice and ibuprofen, elevation, and all the things that you do with the old rices."