Nasal Fracture In Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO 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.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your child feels like one or both of his nasal passages are blocked and he has trouble breathing.
- Your child has severe nose pain, even after he takes medicine.
- Clear fluid is leaking from your child's nose.
- Your child has double vision or has problems moving his eyes.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child continues to have nosebleeds.
- Your child has a headache is getting worse, even after he takes pain medicine.
- Your child's splint, drain, or packing is loose.
- You have questions about your child's condition or care.
- Medicine may be given to your child to decrease pain or help prevent a bacterial infection. Ask how to give pain medicine to your child safely. Medicine may also be given to decrease nasal swelling and help make breathing easier for your child.
- 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.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Ask your child's healthcare provider how to care for his wounds, splint, or packing.
How to care for your child's nasal fracture at home:
- Apply ice on your child's nose 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.
- Keep your child's head elevated when he lies down to help decrease swelling. Ask how you can keep your child's head elevated safely. Your child may need to return for tests or closed reduction after his swelling has decreased.
- Protect your child's nose to prevent bleeding, bruising, or another fracture. Your child should avoid bumping his head on anything. Ask your child's healthcare provider when he can return to physical activities such as sports.
Follow up with a specialist or your child's healthcare provider in 2 to 4 days or as directed:
Your child may need to return for tests or closed reduction after his swelling has decreased. Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them during your visits.