Lain, the Huntingress (accountingwitch) wrote in little_details,
Lain, the Huntingress
accountingwitch
little_details

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Break an arm!

I'm planning to have a character break an arm. Modern day, probably American/Canadian setting. She's twelve years old, healthy and physically active. She's small for her age; I don't know what her weight would be (under 100 lbs?).

It's a sunny day, she decides to climb a tree, she slips, falls and breaks her arm. It's probably a greenstick or single fracture. The ground is your typical North American front lawn - packed dirt and grass.

I've never broken an arm and I'm not going to climb a tree just to see what it's like.

Googled: falling, breaking, arm, tree. Found sites where people are asking how to break an arm and people respond with "are you stupid" and "it hurts".

  1. How high would she have to climb? I've heard stories of kids falling six storeys from an apartment with no injuries. Myself, I've fallen from about two metres flat onto my back once and was just mildly stunned.

  2. How would she fall to break her arm? Land on it? Smack it around a branch?

  3. How much will it hurt? My character, being physically active and all, won't cry when she falls down, gets hit by sports equipment, bruises herself, roughhouses, etc. - she'd just get back up and keep running. You know, like most kids in the era before the Playstation. She's used to denying that she's hurt, just to keep playing. She'd stop what she was doing if blood appeared, though, or it hurts more than what she's used to bearing.

    Would she realize something was wrong? Would she realize right away that her arm was broken? Would she not stop screaming until she was in the hospital room and administered sedatives?

  4. Permanent damage? I'm going for the least serious out of all of them, so I'm assuming not. Feel free to correct me if a broken arm will result in permanent nerve damage, loss of finger/arm muscle control, partial paralysis, etc.

  5. Does the type of tree matter? It's a mature tree, easily +20 years old, probably deciduous. I've climbed birch, pine and maple; mine'll probably be a birch or maple.

Anecdotes and personal stories are welcome, in that I might change it to that if this is too difficult for me to script out. If it's too bloody/messy/permanently disabling (I...don't imagine so), I'll completely throw out the idea.

Also, please don't try jumping out of any trees to answer this question for me, I'd rather not be responsible for something more serious than a broken limb.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: broken bones
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