When children play sports such as basketball, football or soccer, they are vulnerable to sustaining facial injuries. Most of these injuries can be avoided by wearing protective headwear as well as following safety rules and procedures. However, when your child has an accident, the manner in which you respond can mean the difference between temporary pain and permanent damage.
What are facial sports injuries?
A facial sports injury is any damage that is sustained to the face while playing sports. Children who are engaged in full contact sports such as football, karate, basketball or boxing have a high risk of sustaining injuries to either the face or head. Additionally, any sport which involves a ball being thrown, especially baseball or softball, can also result in serious damage.
Some specific injuries which are typically sustained to the face include a broken nose, busted or cut lip, broken jaw, bruising around the eyes or cuts to the face. Most of these injuries are not life threatening so long as they are treated promptly and thoroughly.
What are the symptoms of facial sports injuries?
When someone suffers from a sports injury, there are a number of symptoms they will display. While some of these are mild, others are serious. Swelling should always be taken seriously as it could mask an injury that is severe. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Broken bones and fractures to the face
- Numbness in the face or cheeks
- Vision becomes blurred
- Nose bleeds
- Inability to close or use mouth correctly
How is the diagnosis established?
A child who sustains injuries to face while playing sports should be taken to the doctor immediately. Dr. Samadi will evaluate the child and apply ice packs as well as ensuring that their head is elevated to alleviate swelling. He will also conduct X-rays to determine if any fractures are present in the face. If there appears to be damage to the eyes, he will refer the child to an ophthalmologist. If the mouth, jaw or teeth have been injured, he may refer the child to a surgeon.
How are facial sports injuries treated?
There are a variety of different injuries that can be sustained to the face, and the facial sports injury treatment will depend on the nature of the damage. Injuries to the soft tissue such as cuts, scrapes or bruises are often a result of damage sustained in sports such as skiing, bicycling or soccer. Minor injuries can be treated a home, but children with severe injuries to their soft tissue should be referred to ENT for Children for assistance.
Deep cuts and lacerations must be washed to get rid of foreign material, and the child may also be given stitches along with antibiotics. Broken bones or fractures in the face will frequently need to be repaired surgically. Depending on the extent of the injury, it could take from six to the twelve months for the child to heal. Facial injuries can be complex, and should your child sustain them, you should contact us for assistance.