Children Broken Nose

Children broken nose signs, diagnosis, and treatments

Also referred to as nasal fracture, a broken nose occurs when one or more bones of the nose breaks. Broken noses are more common in adults than children because the nasal bones in kid don't break easily. However, the nasal bone is one of the bones in the face that are vulnerable to fractures. Continue reading to learn about children broken nose signs and treatments.

When it happen in children, a kid can have a fracture in the upper nose, the side or the septum (the part that separates the nostrils). The fracture usually occurs due to a hard hit to the nose, and this can be a fall, sports injury or a car accident.

What are the signs of a broken nose?

The symptoms usually vary depending on the extent of the fracture. Typically, you can expect your child to have tenderness in the area around the nose, pain, nosebleed, swelling, bruising under the eye, crooked nose, difficulty breathing, and crunching noise when touching the nose.

When you notice any of these symptoms, it's necessary to take your child for medical attention as soon as possible.

How is nasal fracture diagnosed?

For a medical diagnosis, you will need to take your child to a professional known as an otolaryngologist - a nose, ear, and throat specialist.

The doctor will want to know the cause of the fracture during your visit. It's also important to carry with you the medical records of your kid. The diagnosis also involves a physical exam, which checks both the internal and external parts of the nose.

The doctor may also use an instrument known as nasal speculum to examine the nostril and the septum for blockages and complications.

A broken nose also occurs with injuries, so the area around the nose will be examined, including the eyes and teeth. Imaging medical tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, are also helpful in examining the child well. These procedures are painless, and they provide detailed images of the fracture.

The child may be given a contrast liquid during the scan. So, let the doctor know if your kid has an allergy to the liquid.

Treatments for a broken nose in children

The treatment option for a child will depend on the degree of the fracture. The doctor will recommend one after the diagnosis.

Medications are usually the first option to help decrease the pain or prevent a possible infection to the wound on the nose. In most cases, acetaminophen is usually the standard option. Ibuprofen and aspirin are not recommended as they might increase bleeding.

If your child has an open cut, wound care is essential to stop bleeding. Stitches may be necessary if there are deep external cuts. The doctor will drain a hematoma (collection of blood) if your child has one. In some cases, the doctor will place packing or a soft gauze pad inside the nose to soak up blood and stop a nosebleed.

For the broken bones, a procedure known as a closed reduction is usually performed to restore the nasal bones back to their correct position. Your child will be given a local or general anesthesia during the procedure. Depending on the swelling of the nose, a closed reduction can be done immediately or after a few days following the fracture. For severe fracture, a surgery known as open reduction can be performed to fix the nose.

After the reduction procedure, a splint or packing is used to hold the nose in position for 7 to 10 days. The doctor will direct you on how to take care of the splint or packing.

Even after the medical treatment, it's advisable for parents to monitor and care for the broken nose while at home. Applying ices to the nose for 15 to 20 minutes helps to relieve the pain. When the child is lying down, ensure the head stays elevated to help in decreasing swelling. Additionally, let them avoid activities that are likely to cause further damage to the nose.

A broken nose in children can be a painful experience for them. Luckily, some treatments and procedures can help to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and restore the broken nose. Seek immediate care if your child has leaking fluid from the nose and severe nose pain after taking certain medications.

Last Reviewed:
August 18, 2017
Last Updated:
October 19, 2017