Nasal Fracture In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A nasal fracture (broken nose) is a crack or break in the bones or cartilage of your child's nose. Cartilage is tough tissue that covers the end of a bone. Your child may have a break in the upper nose (bridge), the side, or in the septum. The septum is in the middle of the nose and divides his nostrils.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Make sure your child takes his antibiotics until they are gone, even if he feels better.
- Pain medicine: Your child may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you give your child his medicine.
- Decongestant: This medicine decreases nasal swelling and helps make breathing easier.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not helping or if he has side effects. Tell your child's primary healthcare provider if your child takes any vitamins, herbs, or other medicines. Keep a list of the medicines he takes. Include the amounts, and when and why he takes them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits.
- 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.
How to care for your child's nasal fracture at home:
- Your child may need more rest than he realizes as he heals. Quiet play will keep your child safely busy so he does not become restless and risk hurting himself. Have your child read or draw quietly when he is awake. Follow instructions for how much rest your child should get while he heals.
- Ice: Place an ice pack over your child's nose to help reduce pain and swelling. Ask your child's primary healthcare provider how long and how often your child's nose should be iced.
- Rinses: Remove blood and crusting inside your child's nose with water or saline (salt water). Ask your child's primary healthcare provider to show you how to rinse your child's nose.
- Wound care: Ask your child's primary healthcare provider to show you how to care for your child's drains, splint, or packing.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or a specialist in 2 to 4 days or as directed:
Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them during your visits. Follow-up care is needed months or even years later to watch for and correct problems with healing and growth.
Prevent further injury to your child's nose:
- Protect your child's nose: Protect his nose to prevent bleeding, bruising, or another fracture. If your child plays sports, ask your child's primary healthcare provider if he can wear a face mask to shield his nose.
- Avoid nose blowing: Your child's nose could move out of place before it heals. Ask your child's primary healthcare provider when your child can safely blow his nose again.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child keeps having nosebleeds.
- Your child's headache is getting worse, even after he takes pain medicine.
- Your child's skin feels itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- Your child's splint, drain, or packing is loose.
- You have questions about your child's condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You think someone has harmed your child.
- Clear fluid is leaking from your child's nose.
- Your child has double vision or has problems moving his eyes.
- Your child is having problems breathing, smelling, or talking.
- Your child has grape-like swelling inside his nose.
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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.