A child's bones are softer and more flexible than those of an adult, so they're more likely to bend than to break completely. This flexibility can result in a greenstick fracture. In a greenstick fracture, the bone cracks but doesn't break all the way through — like when you try to break a green stick of wood.
A greenstick fracture can be difficult to diagnose, because it may not cause all the classic signs and symptoms of a broken bone. Treatment for broken bones, even incomplete breaks such as a greenstick fracture, requires immobilization of your child's bone, so that the bone will grow back properly.