Possible Broken Nose in My 20 Month Old?

Updated on December 09, 2012
K.I. asks from Lindenhurst, NY
6 answers

My 20 month old got pushed into the wall by our family dog and her nose is a mess! We took her to the ER but they did nothing. We have to wait till the swelling is down and have her looked at by a Ear, nose and throat Dr. My question is...have any of you ever gone thru this with a baby before? What will they have to do if it is broken? Re-brake it? Ouch! I am worried sick and the swelling is still very bad. This happened Monday night, and she looks just terrible...bumpy, lumpy, swollen and purple! Poor baby! The weird thing is that even though all the bumpiness and bruising is on her left side, when you look at her profile from the right it is NOT the same as it used to be either! Worried sick and going crazy awaiting the day when the swelling goes down.


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So What Happened?

Turns out there is nothing( no xrays, nothing) they do if your kid breaks their nose...as long as it isnt effecting their breathing! If it resets crooked or something they wait till they are @16 or so to repair it. No biggie.

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answers from Seattle on

Don'tcha hate it when these things happen?

It sounds broken (but little bones are flexible, so it's always possible it's not, and is just soft tissue damage... but it certainly sounds that way).

That said, what they'll do depends on where and how it's broken. If it's the interior bones, or exterior ones... whether or not the bone is misaligned & how... whether or not there's cartilage damage. If there's any setting that needs to be done, mine has always been quick... "grind, snick!" Or "snick, snick, fwoosh" (the fwoosh sound is the blood rushing to my ears).

The thing about a broken nose (if it's offset), is that it hurts UNTIL it gets set. After that it just aches...but the pain difference is so great, that you almost feel pain free for the first few hours. It's like snick-ahhhhhhhh. I've had my nose set as long as 9 days later, without any rebreaking needing to occur, but that was as an adult. It's HARD for an offset bone heal... but given long enough it will. I don't know what the timeframe before restructuring begins is for children.

My niece, though, has broken her nose twice. Once at 1 year and once at 7. The first break they had to do exterior and interior work. They put off the interior work indefinitely. A "wait and see" approach (setting the interior bones involves essentially sticking a pen up the nostrils, and is usually unnecessary). The wait and see was if there would be any difficulty in breathing. None yet. If there ever is, she'll essentially get a free nose job, since it's documented repair work from an old injury...it'll be covered by insurance. She DOES snore now, but there's nothing aesthetically wrong or that causes difficulty breathing asleep or awake. She just snores. The second time she broke her nose (softball to the face in school)... one of the other kids reached out and tweaked it. Luckily, he tweaked it in a way that set it correctly (although she kicked him hard enough that the emt's took both kids to the hospital).

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answers from Los Angeles on

I think My 2 year old son's nose is broken also, he knocked a stool onto his face last night and i dont know what to do, should i take him to the ER?,, his nose doesnt look that bad but a little blood comes out every once in a while with snot and its a very light red color blood.when it frist happened it did bleed pretty bad for about 3 mins, then it stopped. he has 2 light colored blueish black eyes, im so worried that he might have a head injury, but he's acting normal and his breathing is normal, last night when it frist happened he started playing again an i could hear him breathing threw his nose and it sounded strange does anyone know what that could be?? PLEASE give me advise on what i should do.



answers from Portland on

The same thing happened to my son at about the same age. But he hit the edge of our coffee table and cut across the top part of his nose. In the ER they took x rays and determined his nose was broken. They glued the cut together. The next day we saw an ear, nose, and throat specialist. If I recall correctly, they were worried about the septum being intact and not deviated. It all turned out fine and rebreaking the nose was never mentioned. Once the doctor determined the septum looked fine, there was really nothing to do except wait until the swelling went down. Today he has a very small bump on his nose where the cut was. But while he was recovering he had two huge black/blue eyes and didn't look like himself at all. His whole upper part of his face was swollen. I know there is a lot of soft tissue in the nose at this age. So hopefully the damage is not as bad as it looks. Good luck!



answers from Portland on

Hello Lynne-

I'm a parent coach, not a doctor, but your baby may be OK. Cartilage is very flexible at this age, so the nose may not be broken after it heals. This may be why the ER docs suggested to wait.

Good Luck-

R. Magby



answers from Portland on

My sister's son fell flat on his face just after getting out of the bath. She had just wrapped a towel around him in what I call a baby burrito so he couldn't stop himself with his hads. She took him to the ER and was told his nose was broken. They docs said they usually don't try to tape or wrap the nose at that age, because the child ends up picking at it thus slowing healing. I'm going to assume they told you to give tylenol or ibuprophen for pain. This will also help with the swelling. Of course, ice will also help with the swelling and pain. If they didn't at least X-ray it to see if it needs to be set I would call your regular doc (or an ENT they referred you to) to see if they think that should be done.

Good luck!

PS: we've all been there and secretly worried people will think we abused our children.....don't worry about it:-)


answers from Eugene on

Go get Arnica 30c it is sold in health food stores and many pharmacies. Give her
two round pills 4x a day for 5 days and the swelling and the distortion will go down.
Then you will see what kind of damage is left.
Arnica removes bruises from the body. No matter how black and blue you are. If you get bumped or knocked use it immediately to prevent swelling.
This is what I always did with my children. I also used Arnica cream to reduce swelling and bruises. This is used only externally.
Then take your child to a doctor to see if the bone or cartilage in her nose is damaged and has deviated the nasal passage in one side or the other.
If surgery is called for get a second opinion.
I wish you well.

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