DESCRIPTIONA nose fracture is a fracture or damage to the bones and cartilage of the nose. This often happens when other facial bones are also fractured. The nose and adjacent structures are involved. Nose fracture is usually confined to older children (over age 8) and adults. Young children's noses have only cartilage.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis of minor injuries.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Emergency-room treatment for heavy bleeding.
Surgery, if the nose is crooked or your child's breathing is impaired.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSPain in the nose.
Swollen, discolored nose.
Inability to breathe through the nose.
Crooked or misshapen nose (sometimes).
Injury to the child's nose.
Previous nose injury.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEYour child should protect the nose from injury, whenever possible. Urge your child to wear protective headgear for contact sports or when riding motorcycles or bicycles and to wear auto seat belts.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory blood tests, if bleeding is heavy.
X-ray of the nose.
Infection of the child's nose and sinuses.
Shock from loss of blood (rare).
Permanent breathing difficulty.
Permanent change in the child's appearance.
Minor fractures with no deformity usually heal in 4 weeks. Major fractures can be repaired with surgery. If surgery is necessary for your child, it should be done within 2 weeks or not until 6 months after the injury.
Apply ice packs to the child's nose immediately after an injury to minimize swelling.
If the child's nosebleed is heavy or cannot be stopped, obtain emergency medical treatment.
MEDICATIONFor minor discomfort, use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen.
Your doctor may prescribe:
-- Stronger pain relievers, if needed.
-- Antibiotics, if infection develops.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your child should rest until bleeding stops.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes, as soon as appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of a fractured nose, especially bleeding that is heavy or cannot be stopped.
Your child has had a fractured nose and you think surgery is needed.