A stubbed toe can be painful for anyone but especially so for children. Most heal rapidly with a little parental TLC.
Stubbed toes can result in an abrasion to the end of the toe, nail trauma, or in the worst-case scenario, even a fracture.
In the case of an abrasion, clean the area well with soap and water, then apply an antibiotic ointment daily and cover with a Band-Aid. If the nail has been disrupted, a collection of blood may form underneath, causing the nail to eventually fall off. Don’t worry, a new one will grow in its place.
If the swelling is severe, and you are worried about a fracture, an x-ray can confirm your suspicions. Be reassured that most toe fractures are uncomplicated and heal with minimal treatment. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can alleviate the pain in the meantime. Persistent pain, redness, or swelling past the expected healing time could indicate the development of an underlying bone infection, so be sure to see the doctor right away if this occurs.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, January 2020