How to Care for Your Child with a Suspected Nose Fracture

This leaflet will provide you with information about suspected Nose fracture causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and home care advice.

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How to Care for Your Child with a suspected Nose Fracture

What is a Nose Fracture?

A "fracture" is another word for a broken bone. A nose fracture is when a person breaks a bone in the nose

What are the symptoms of Nose Fracture?

Symptoms of a nose fracture include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Trouble breathing through the nose
  • Bleeding from the nose or clear fluid draining from the nose
  • Being unable to smell
  • The nose looks crooked or bent.

How is Nose Fracture diagnosed?

The doctor will ask few questions about your child's health and examine your child's injured nose. In most times, an X-ray is not needed because only a small portion of the nose is made of bone which can be seen on an X-ray; the rest is made of cartilage which cannot. Your doctor will decide if further investigations are required.

How is Nose Fracture treated?

Most nose fractures heal well with proper care. Surgical intervention is only when the bone is pushed out of position.

Sometimes the doctor may want your child to see a specialist doctor on a special clinic for nose fractures. This is best arranged after a few days when the swelling has gone down. You will be advised on the initial visit if this is required

If it is necessary, you will be contacted to attend a follow-up appointment in the outpatient clinic. Please bring a recent photo of your child, so the doctor can see the shape of the nose before the injury

Home care advice  

  • To reduce swelling:
    • Your child should sleep sitting up or with the head propped on pillows.
    • Hold a cold pack wrapped in a towel to your child's nose for 15–20 minutes a few times each day.
    • Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
  • If your doctor advises giving medicine for pain, you can give:
    • Paracetamol (any brand) or Ibuprofen (any brand)
    • Follow the instruction on the medicine package for the correct dose for your child
    • Do not give Aspirin to your child as this can lead to serious complications
  • If your child has a nosebleed, tip your child's head forward (not back) and pinch the soft part of the nose gently for 10 minutes.
  • Discourage your child from blowing the nose.

When should I seek medical advice?

Seek medical advice if your child:

  • Has a fever
  • Has a heavy nose bleed
  • Has blurred or double vision
  • Has increased difficulty in breathing
  • Become dizzy, disoriented or loses consciousness