What is facial fracture?

Facial Fracture
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Facial fracture in children: Overview

Your child has broken (fractured) one or more bones in their face. Swelling and bruising from the injury are likely to get worse over the first couple of days. After that, the swelling should steadily improve until it is gone.

If your child has bruises on the face, they may change as they heal. The skin may turn from black and blue to green to yellow or brown before it returns to its normal color.

It's important to take your child to all doctor visits to make sure the injury heals well.

Healthy habits can help your child heal. Give your child a variety of healthy foods. And don't smoke around your child.

How can you care for your child who has a facial fracture?

  • Put ice or a cold pack on your child's injury for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when your child is awake). Put a thin cloth between the ice pack and the skin.
  • Bring your child to all follow-up appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will determine whether your child needs further treatment, including surgery.
  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • Store your child's prescription pain medicines where no one else can get to them. When you are done using them, dispose of them quickly and safely. Your local pharmacy or hospital may have a drop-off site.
  • Keep your child's head raised when they sleep.
  • Give your child soft food to decrease jaw pain.
  • Your child should not blow their nose. Dab it with a tissue if you need to.

Facial fracture in children: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child has tingling, weakness, or numbness on one side of the body.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has a severe headache.
  • Your child develops double vision.
  • Your child has a fever and stiff neck.
  • Clear, watery fluid drains from your child's nose.
  • Your child feels dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Your child has new eye pain or changes in vision, such as blurring.
  • Your child has new ear pain, ringing in the ears, or trouble hearing.
  • Your child is confused, irritable, or not acting normally.
  • Your child has a hard time standing, walking, or talking.
  • Your child has new mouth or tooth pain or has trouble chewing.
  • Your child has increasing pain even after taking pain medicine.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child develops a cough, cold, or sinus infection.
  • The symptoms from your child's injury are not steadily improving.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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