Facial Fracture In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A facial fracture occurs when one or more of your child's bones in the face are broken. This is caused by an injury or trauma to the head or face when a child falls from a height. A direct blow during a fight, physical abuse, or a car accident may also cause a facial fracture. Common signs and symptoms may include a bump, cut, bruise, swelling, or deformity on his face. Your child may vomit (throw up), pass out, have a headache, or feel numb or tingling on his face.
- An x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) scan may be used for diagnosis. Treatment may include medicines for the relief of symptoms or surgery if the fracture is bad. Most facial fractures heal faster in children than in adults. The younger your child is, the faster the fracture will heal without further problems. With proper treatment, care, and follow-up, your child has a greater chance of having a full recovery.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.
- Your child may need more rest than he realizes while he heals. Quiet play will keep your child safely busy so he does not become restless and risk injuring himself. Have your child read or draw quietly. Follow instructions for how much rest your child should get while he heals.
- Sports: Do not let your child play contact sports, such as football, while his facial fracture is still healing. The bones in his face may break again, bleed, or bruise easily. Talk to your child's caregiver before you let him start playing contact sports again.
Brace or splint care:
Caregivers may put a brace or collar into your child's neck to keep it from moving. He may also use a bandage or splint to support his facial bones. Ask your child's caregiver for more information on brace, bandage, or splint care.
Ask your child's caregiver about the proper way to take care of his wound or change his bandage. It is also important to know how often your child's bandage needs to be changed.
Preventing another facial fracture:
- Always put your child in a car safety seat in the back seat. Do not start the car until your child's seat belt is fastened. If your child is old enough, let him wear seat belt properly when driving or riding a car.
- Do not leave your baby alone on the bed, changing table, or couch. Place him in a crib or playpen if you must leave him unattended.
- Do not let your child dive in a shallow pool area or in water where the depth is not known.
- Make sure your child wears proper padding and protective gear when playing sports. These include helmets, mouth guards, wrist guards, or kneepads that meet safety standards. Teach your child about following safety regulations. Ask your caregiver for more information about bicycle helmet safety.
For support or more information:
A facial fracture is a life-changing injury for your child and your family. Accepting that your child has a facial fracture may be hard. You, your child, and those close to you may feel sad, angry, depressed, or frightened. These are normal feelings. Talk to your child's caregivers, your family, or friends about your feelings. You may also want to join a support group. This is a group of people who had head injuries or had facial fracture. Ask your caregiver for information about support groups.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child's bandage has new stains or a bad odor.
- Your child's headache is getting worse even after giving him pain medicines.
- Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- Your child cannot make it to his next appointment with his caregiver.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's injury, treatment, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your child becomes confused or more fussy, restless, or sleepy than usual.
- Your child has blood or clear fluid coming from his nose or ears.
- Your child has seizures (convulsions) or is vomiting (throwing up).
- Your child has trouble breathing.
- Your child has trouble hearing, slurred speech, or is seeing blurred or double.
- Your child's pupil (black area in the center of the eye) looks larger in one eye.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.