Nursemaid's Elbow -- Do You "Swing" Your Toddlers?

Cynthia Dermody

A safe swing!

Photo by NonnieJ

I remember my dad taking me by the wrists and helicoptering me around till I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe anymore. What a thrill!

My children love it too -- though it doesn't happen very often. I'm weak and they are heavy, but my husband still treats them to an airborne adventure every now and again.

David Beckham's toddler son, Cruz, obviously seems to enjoy the game as well -- click here to see a recent picture of David Beckham swinging Cruz by the legs.

By the way, it seems some people were bothered by this image, saying that the soccer star could have hurt is son.

Seems like it was blown way overboard, but not totally unfounded. There is a real condition more related to the grabbing of a child by the arms called nursemaid's elbow.

The quick tugging motion, such as grabbing and spinning a child, can cause a subluxation (partial dislocation) of an elbow bone. In most cases, you'll need to take the child to a doctor, who will put the bone back in place, but it can be extremely painful and your child will be prone to repeat dislocations.

Nursemaid's elbow most commonly occurs in kids 1 to 3 years old, though infants and older kids can experience it, too.


Do you "spin" your toddler by the arms or legs?

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Have any of your children suffered nursemaid's elbow?

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