Can Babies Break Their Nose?

We may earn commission from links featured in this post. Read more.

Taking care of your baby and guaranteeing their safety is your ultimate goal. And although some problems are easy to identify, others can be pretty confusing.

So, can babies break their nose? What should you do if you think that your baby’s nose is broken? Keep on reading to find the answers to these questions. 

How Would a Baby Break Their Nose?

Babies have soft bones, and in some cases, they have cartilages that later change to bones. This is why having a broken nose is rather uncommon in babies and newborns. However, trauma to the nose is the culprit if your child has a fracture and can happen due to several reasons. 

  • Falling out of bed on their face, if it’s not secure enough, can cause a broken nose. Always use bed guards and bumpers if they are not in a secured bed or cot.
  • Automobile accidents where a heavy impact or a flying object hits the child in the face. 
  • Child abuse where the baby is hit or thrown against a hard object can break the nose and cause other serious head injuries. 
  • Hitting a door or falling while attempting to walk can cause a broken nose if the child falls at a specific angle. 

Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that breaking the nose is unlikely to happen in these situations, and other injuries like a deviated septum are more common. 

Children are good at falling over and they bodies are built for impact. Perfectly designed.

What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Nose in Babies?

The nose is made of two bones, and determining that one or both of them are broken isn’t easy. In most cases, if your baby suffers from a trauma in the nose area, they’re going to experience some pain and swelling. This is why seeing the doctor is always recommended to see if there’s a broken bone. 

However, if you can’t see the doctor for whatever reason, you can wait for a day or two. The pain and swelling will improve in a few days in most cases. Nevertheless, some signs show that there’s a broken nose and that you should immediately head to the hospital or the doctor’s office. 

  • Sings that they are in constant pain, beyond the usual crying
  • You hear a snapping sound if you’re near the baby when it breaks its nose. 
  • The nose is bleeding. It’s quite common to witness some bleeding after a trauma, but if it’s combined with the other symptoms, then the nose is probably broken. 
  • Bruising and swelling in the nose that travels to the area under the eyes. This is due to internal bleeding because of the trauma. 
  • The nose feels exceptionally tender to touch, or there’s a large wound on the nose. 
  • Your child is unable to breathe normally out of the nose. 
  • If the child can tolerate the nose being touched, you can hear a crunching sound because the bones are moving. 
  • The nose doesn’t look the same. It might be bent or slightly deformed because of the injury. 

What to Do if You Suspect a Broken Nose in Your Baby?

Until you see the doctor, you can hold a bag of ice against the nose to relieve the pain and decrease the swelling. Nevertheless, seeing a healthcare expert is essential to determine what needs to be done.

Use calpol or other pain medication for babies.

Make sure that your child is sitting upright if they can sit on their own, a baby seat otherwise. If not, hold them in an upright position. At the same time, avoid pressing the bones too hard. 

If the injury is severe, head to the emergency room immediately. Your baby might be suffering from an internal haemorrhage that needs to be addressed and treated. 

However, in most cases, it will be OK to see the doctor the next day. Still, it’s recommended to see the doctor as soon as possible to avoid any breathing issues or further complications. 

In most cases, an X-ray might not be enough to show the nose fracture, and other exams like a CT scan will be needed. The doctor might have to realign the bones and restore their original position. 

This can be done by physically moving the bones or through surgery. Even in the first case, the doctor will put your baby under general anaesthesia because this procedure can be pretty painful. 

If you suspect that your baby’s nose is broken while you were not around, you need to alert the police. This can be a sign of child abuse, and the doctor will do the same. 

Sometimes the nose will look different even after the bones have been manually manipulated. In this case, cosmetic surgery might be needed. 

Conclusion

Nasal fractures aren’t that common in babies, but they can still happen. A hit to the nose, trauma after falling out of the bed, falling and hitting face or hitting a hard object can break the small bones in the nose. 

Seeing a doctor as soon as possible is highly recommended, as this can help your child avoid the consequences of a broken nose that might affect breathing.