Broken Nose… How Can I Tell?

broken nose

For kids playing at school, October signals the continuation of plentiful activities. Fall sports, and horseplay may seem like fun, but injury may be lurking just around the corner. For Hospitality Health ER and parents, Back to School season means getting ready for another year of colds, viruses, bumps, bruises, and even broken bones. We’ve already covered what a broken ankle looks like in our weekly blog, but what about a broken nose? What does it look like and how do you treat it? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Broken Nose?

A broken nose means there is a break or crack in either the bone or cartilage in your nose. Typically on the bridge of the nose or the septum is effected.

How Do Kids Usually Get a Broken Nose?

Let’s face it, parents, contact sports like football, soccer, boxing, wrestling and hockey increase the risk of injuries. This includes broken noses. Even non-contact sports like skiing and snowboarding increase risk of nose injuries. Fights, automobile accidents, and bike riding are also leading causes. Almost anything that hits your nose hard enough can cause a nasal fracture.

How Can I Tell if My Child Has a Broken Nose?

You can usually tell if your child’s nose is broken if they have pain around their nose combined with swelling, bleeding, and/or bruising around the nose or eyes. Additionally, parents and guardians should watch out for any reports of r a grating feeling when the child moves  their nose around. The child may also report a stuffy nose feeling similar to the feeling that accompanies a cold. A nose that looks bent or crooked is another telltale sign of a break.

What to Do if You Think Your Child Has a Broken Nose?

  • Wrap some ice in a wash cloth and put it on the nose for fifteen to twenty minutes to bring down the swelling and pain. If your child needs to lie down, make sure their head is elevated with a pillow to prevent swelling.
  • To help with the pain, administer either acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
  • To help your child breathe through that stuffy nose, you can try a nasal decongestant. However, you should stop using the decongestant if the nose continues to bleed.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Don’t hesitate to seek medical help if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with how you should handle your child’s nose injury. Go to the ER immediately if the child has heavy bleeding that won’t stop, trouble breathing, or clear fluid draining from the nose. Under no circumstances should you or your child try to straighten the nose out on your own. See a doctor to avoid further injury or damage.

For more on bumps, bruises, broken bones, and more check out Hospitality Health ER on Facebook or our blog.