How often do you think–really think–about your face? It’s not just a sideways glance as you walk past the mirror; it’s not how much time you put into makeup; it’s not even about putting on sunscreen or medication (although those are pretty important). The truth is, we don’t do a lot of deep thinking about our faces because our faces don’t require that much of us. However, what happens when the face is injured? Suddenly the stakes are higher; it’s a matter of teeth, of the nose, of eyes, of breathing, of proper brain function. Facial injuries can be serious, and they require a lot more deep thinking than we usually give to our faces–especially when it is a child who has been injured.
Kids do a lot of things, every day, that could be dangerous for their faces. Playing catch, riding a bike, battles with foam weapons–there are countless opportunities for facial injuries. These injuries can be especially complicated for children, not least because kids usually aren’t able to precisely describe the accident or the pain, and as a result, it’s important to be able to identify and analyze facial injuries. The first step, though, is emergency care. Facial injuries can be very serious; determine if the child is breathing, if the eyes are moving in the same direction if the pupils match, if speech is slurred, and if general knowledge–like name, date, etc.–is known. Once you have determined if the child is safe, it’s time to try identifying the injury.
Common Facial Injuries
What are some common facial injuries, and what do they look like? Let our Pediatric Otolaryngology experts explain!
- Fractures. The face is surprisingly vulnerable to fractures. A facial fracture would include swelling and bruising, facial pain, numbness, altered vision, and nosebleeds. The best thing to do in this case is trying to minimize swelling–ice packs and an elevated head should help–and get to the emergency room right away.
- Nasal injuries. Nasal injuries in kids are all too common. Nasal injuries often cause difficulty breathing, abnormally shaped nose, and bleeding. Keep the head elevated, apply a cold washcloth, and get medical help as soon as possible.
- Lower face. Injuries to the lower face can be uniquely challenging because they often involve dental trouble. If you see an injured child holding his or her mouth differently–almost as if the teeth no longer fit together properly–it’s important to get help right away. This problem can usually be fixed with minor surgery, but if left unchecked, it can cause extreme discomfort and severe dental problems.
Interested in more information on facial injuries? Looking for Pediatric Otolaryngology experts? Contact us at (208) 367-3320 today!