Dealing With the Initial Injury
- Check how bad it is.If you just have a mild sprain, your parents can help you treat it at home. However, if your pain is pretty bad or if your wrist locks up, you'll need to see a doctor. If your sprain is bad enough that you can't write for school, you should definitely see a doctor to have it checked out.
- Whatever pain you're feeling, you shouldn't make the decision yourself. Talk to your parents or another adult as soon as you notice you have an injury.
- Be sure your parents get a doctor's note to give to your school.
- Get a splint at home.If you and your parents decide to treat it at home, you'll need a splint. A splint is just a device that helps hold your wrist still, which your parents can find at a drug store or super store.
- Do the RICE method."RICE" can help you remember what you need to do. "RICE" stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- You need to rest your injury by not using that wrist or arm for at least a day or two.
- You can apply ice every hour or so for 10 to 20 minutes, especially the day you injure it. Make sure a towel goes between your skin and the ice. Otherwise, it can make your skin too cold. The ice helps with pain and swelling.
- Compression just means using a splint or bandage. You can take the splint or bandage off to apply ice, but when you're moving around it should be on.
- Elevation just means getting your wrist above your heart. You can prop it up on a pillow. Because gravity works on blood like everything else, putting your wrist above your heart makes it harder for blood to pool there. That means you'll have less swelling if you elevate it.
- Ask your parents about pain medications.If you're in some pain, your parents can give you something to help relieve it. Ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are both good choices.
- Ask your doctor about taking a day off.If your pain is especially severe, you may need to stay home from school for a day or two. Your doctor can help you understand how long you may need.
- In addition, if your pain is severe, your doctor may give your parents a prescription pain medication for you to help you deal with the pain. However, some of those pain medications can make you drowsy, which is another reason you may need to stay home for a day or two.
Dealing With Administrators and Schoolwork
- Have your parents write you a note.If you had to miss a few days of school, your parents will need to write you a note saying why you were absent. They also need to explain anything you may need while at school, such as help with writing. It may be best if one of your parents can also talk with someone at the school. Your parents should include a doctor's note if you have one.
- Any note your parents write should follow your school's policy.
- Have your parents visit the nurse.If you're still on over-the-counter pain medications when you go back to school, one of your parents will likely need to visit the school nurse. The school nurse will handle the medication for you, but your parents will need to give it to her. They will also likely need to sign a consent form.
- Make sure your parent brings the medicine in its original container.
- Skip writing.You're going to need to rest that hand, at least for a day or two. If it's an especially bad sprain, you may need to rest it longer, even weeks. Of course, you will probably still need to do schoolwork, so you can try writing with your other hand. You can also see if a friend will make copies of his or her notes for you or share them with you later.
- Talk to your teacher.It's important to let your teacher know what's going on. Tell her how long you think you won't be able to write with that hand and what you'll need instead. If you don't know what to do, your teacher can probably help you figure it out, as he or she has probably dealt with this problem before.
- If you want, you can ask a parent to come along to help you talk to your teacher.
- Type with your other hand.If possible, do your schoolwork at home by typing or writing with the other hand. If not, maybe one of your parents can help you write while you still need the help.
Dealing With Your Friends
- Decorate your splint.If you have a splint, you can decorate it. One option is to get a removable cover in a fun color or pattern. However, you can also have your friends sign it in a metallic permanent marker, so that shows up on your splint even if it's dark. Plus, your friends can draw fun things on it to make it more cheerful.
- Just make sure they are careful, as splints aren't as tough as casts. You don't want them to hurt your wrist further.
- Be confident.Tell your group of friends what happened. Most of them will be understanding. In fact, many of them may be willing to help you while you're recovering.
- Find new friends if you need to do so.Sometimes, people are mean and may turn on you for a silly reason. If it happens to you, whether because of your injury or another reason, it's okay to try to find new friends. Join clubs at school that interest you to meet new people, or try sitting with a different group of kids in the cafeteria.
- Ignore the haters.You will always find people who want to bring you down. If someone makes a snide comment about your splint or bandage, just ignore it. However, if someone continues to make fun of you, you should take steps to stop it by telling an adult.
- Tell an adult if someone is bullying you. If someone is making fun of you, threatening you, or even hurting you, you should tell an adult. You should do so at any time, but bullies make take advantage of a time when you're hurt to start bullying you.
- You will probably have to tell the story of how you hurt your wrist over and over, so get ready.