Home |  Video Library | Podcast Library | e-Newsletters | Classes & Events | About Us | Community Blog | University & Colleges 

Contact Us | 843-792-1414
Patients & Visitors Medical Services Maps & Parking Health Library Health Professionals Careers
Online Services
Health Library
Health Topics A to Z
Clinical Trials & Research
Tests & Procedures
Lab Tests & Results
Health Assessment Tools
Treatment Options
Symptom Checker
How to Use the Symtom Checker
Adult Symptoms
Child Symptoms
When to Call the Doctor
Health e-Newsletters
Podcast Library
Video Library
Health Library
Bookmark Page icon Bookmark | Print this page icon | E-mail icon
Children's Symptoms > > Nose Injury
Nose Injury


  • Injuries to the inside or outside of the nose

Types of Nose Injuries

  • Bloody nose without a fracture
  • Swelling and bruising of the nose without a fracture
  • Blood clot of the central wall of the nose with risk of cartilage damage and deformed nose
  • Fracture of the nose. Severe fractures of the nose (e.g., crooked nose) are usually reset the same day in the operating room. Most surgeons don't repair mild fractures until 5 to 7 days after the injury.


Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If

  • Major bleeding that can't be stopped
  • Fainted or too weak to stand

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • Nosebleed that won't stop after 10 minutes of squeezing the nostrils closed and applied twice
  • Pointed object inserted into nose and causes pain or bleeding
  • Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
  • Severe pain
  • Very deformed or crooked nose
  • Clear fluid is dripping from the nose and not due to crying
  • Breathing through the nose is blocked on one side or both sides
  • Age under 1 year old
  • Nose looks infected (fever, a yellow discharge, redness)

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If

  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Shape of the nose has not returned to normal after 5 days

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns
  • No tetanus shot in over 5 years for DIRTY cuts (over 10 years for CLEAN cuts)

Parent Care at Home If

  • Minor nose injury and you don't think your child needs to be seen


  1. Nosebleed: To stop a nose bleed, squeeze the soft parts of the nose against the center wall for 10 minutes to apply pressure to the bleeding point.
  2. Skin Bleeding: For superficial cuts or scrapes, apply direct pressure for 10 minutes with a sterile gauze to stop any bleeding.
  3. Cleansing: Then wash the area with soap and water for 5 minutes. If a large area, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover with a Band-Aid for 1 day.
  4. Pain Medicine: Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen as needed for pain relief.
  5. Concerns About Missing a Minor Nasal Fracture:
    • A swollen nose usually is not broken
    • If it is broken, standard practice is to delay correction until the swelling is gone
    • The swelling interferes with diagnosis and treatment
    • It's hard to diagnose a broken nose because of nasal swelling (most swollen noses have no fracture).
    • X-rays are often not helpful because injuries to the cartilage do not show up (most of the nose is cartilage).
    • Looking at the nose after the swelling is gone (day 5 to 7) is the best way to tell if it is really fractured. It will look crooked or different than it used to. Delayed correction also helps the surgeon better see what he is changing.
    • In summary, it's safe to delay the treatment of a mild nasal fracture.
  6. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Pain becomes severe
    • Nasal passage becomes blocked
    • Shape of the nose has not returned to normal after 5 days
    • Signs of infection occur (a yellow discharge, increasing tenderness or fever)
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

Last Reviewed: 1/4/2010

Last Revised: 6/24/2008

Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker

Copyright 1994-2010 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

Additional Resources:

 How to use the Adult Health Topics pages
 When to call the doctor
 Reviewers of Clinical Content

Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment.

About This Site   |   Disclaimer   |  Privacy   |   Accessibility   |   Donations   |   Site Map
171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403 1.843.792.1414 | © Medical University of South Carolina
rss feed iconText Messaging iconPodcast Library Follow MUSCHealth on Twitter MUSChealth YouTube Channel