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Understanding the pediatric response to polytrauma is essential for the orthopaedic surgeon. The physiologic effects of multisystem injury that manifest in a child have important implications for coordination of treatment, particularly in relation to the timing and incidence of organ failure. The orthopaedic surgeon plays an important role in managing hemodynamic instability, vascular insult, and neurologic damage in the child with multiple injuries. Indications for surgery and postoperative immobilization in the pediatric polytrauma patient differ from those in the patient with an isolated injury. Further research is needed to determine the most appropriate method of management for extremity fractures in the pediatric polytrauma patient, particularly regarding the timing of fixation and management of open fractures.