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Facial Fracture in Children


A facial fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your child's face. The facial bones include the cheekbones and the bones around the eyes, nose, and mouth. A facial fracture may also cause damage to nearby tissue, such as the eyes, nose, mouth, nerves, or blood vessels.



Your child may need any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much your child should take and how often he should take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask how to give this medicine to your child safely.
  • Antibiotics may be given to help treat or prevent a bacterial infection if the bone broke through your child's skin.
  • 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.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

How to care for your child after a facial fracture:

  • Apply ice on your child's face for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Help your child clean his teeth 4 to 5 times a day. It may be hard for your child to clean his teeth if he has an injury or fracture near his mouth. Use a water pik or a small, soft toothbrush. Ask your child's healthcare provider for information about mouth care.
  • Your child may need more rest than he realizes while he heals. Quiet play will keep your child busy so he does not risk injuring himself. Have your child read or draw quietly. Ask your child's healthcare provider how much rest your child needs and when he can return to regular activities.
  • Do not let your child play sports while his facial fracture heals. His fracture may bleed, bruise easily, or break again. Ask your child's healthcare provider when it is safe for your child to play sports again.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has a headache that is getting worse, even after he takes pain medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department 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 or is vomiting.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has trouble hearing or speaking.
  • Your child has blurred or double vision.
  • Your child's pupil 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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Facial Fracture in Children (Aftercare Instructions)

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