Nose Injury In Children

Nose injury simply means any injury to the inside or outside of the nose.

Signs and Symptoms

A child’s symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the break. Generally, symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling of the face
  • Bruises around the eyes
  • Tenderness
  • A grating or crunching sound when touching the nose

More severe symptoms that may warrant emergency medical care:

  • Non-stop bleeding from the nose
  • Blocked nasal passage
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Clear fluid draining from the nose
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe headaches
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms

Causes of Nose Injury

A lot of nose injury that occur during childhood is usually a result of a sudden jab on the child’s nose. Other causes include:

  1. Falling off a bike
  2. Contact sports injury
  3. Walking into a wall unknowingly
  4. Car accidents

Types of Nose Injuries

  1. Swollen Nose: this is the most common type of nose injury in children and may be mistaken for a broken nose. It usually comes in form of bruising and/or swelling of the nose. If managed effectively, the swelling may be gone in 4 or 5 days while the bruising may take up to 2 weeks to clear.
  2. Nosebleed: nose bleeding may occur even with the smallest injury. Such bleeding may be arrested when the right method is used. However, if bleeding doesn’t stop, seek urgent medical attention.
  3. Fractured Nose: is also known as a crooked nose. A fractured nose is a major nose injury and would need surgical repairs. A nasal fracture must be repaired within 10 days.
  4. Nasal Septal Hematoma: refers to a blood clot of the central wall of the nose and poses a risk for cartilage damage.

Management of Nose Injury

To be honest, it’s hard to diagnose a nose injury until the swelling subsides, so further treatment isn’t usually necessary at this point.

When your child sustains a nose injury,

  1. Clean the area with mild soap and water, so you can see what’s up. After that, cover it with gauze to stop the bleeding. (Remember, the nose can make a bloody mess as they have a great supply of blood but if bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes, kindly visit the hospital).
  2. Take care of the bruising and swelling (if it happens) by placing an icepack on the nose for not more than 20 minutes, and repeat this in an hour. Do not place ice directly on the skin. Rather, wrap in a piece of napkin or cloth.
  3. Give your child Paracetamol to relieve him of pain and swelling.
  4. If the nose is broken and out of place, it may need to be set. After the nose is set, nasal packing and a splint may be applied. Antibiotics would usually be given to help prevent infection. Packings are usually removed within 2-3 days.

Complications of a Broken Nose

While most nose injuries resolve without any complication, in other instances certain problems may emerge:

Such problems include:

  1. Septal hematoma,
  2. Nasal septum (Septal perforation)
  3. Other severe infections such as meningitis, CSF infections, and so on
  4. Nasal bridge collapse

 

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