Injuries to the nose and throat are common in children, especially those who are engaged in contact or collision sports. Additionally, children may be involved in fights which can result in injuries. Trauma to the head, nose or throat should never be taken lightly, as they are a leading cause of fatalities in sports, both professional and amateur. There are a number of things that parents can do to prevent their children from being hurt, and to assist them if they are.
How to prevent injuries
The first step in preventing injuries is to educate children on the importance of following rules when engaged in sports. Each sport has its own unique set of rules, and children who choose not to follow them run an increased risk of sustaining injuries to the neck or throat. Children should also be taught to avoid fighting and instead find other ways to resolve disputes or problems. Parents and coaches should emphasize the importance of wearing protective equipment at all times, as these are the first line of defense in protecting the most sensitive areas of the body.
Common symptoms of nose and throat injuries
A child who has suffered an injury to their nose may display swelling, severe bleeding and their cartilage may be separated. A nose which is broken may appear deformed as a result of a septum which has become bent or deviated. Injuries to the throat may result in dizziness, disorientation or an inability to speak. If the neck is cut, it may also bleed, which can be life threatening if a major artery such as the carotid has been damaged. A nose which is badly injured may also develop a hematoma, and the child will complain of intense nasal pain.
Treating nose or throat injuries
Injuries to the nose and especially the throat can be serious and life threatening. Therefore, parents or other witnesses should get the child to a hospital as soon as possible, but in the meantime the head of the child should be elevated, and if a hematoma is present compression should be applied. The most important aspect of treating both nose and throat injuries is controlling the bleeding until the child can be taken to a doctor where the injury can be examined.
Fractures are common in noses that have been injured, but if the fracture is simple the nose can be repaired quickly, and the child can resume playing sports after a brief healing period. The doctor will use X-rays to determine the severity of the fracture, and splinting may be used. In serious cases where the nose is shattered or deformed, the doctor may opt for nasal surgery.
Prevention is much better than treatment when it comes to nose or throat injuries, as performing a surgical operation on the nose can be costly, and a severe neck injury can result in death or becoming paralyzed. It is for this reason that parents should teach their children to avoid horseplay, fighting and to play safely when engaged in sports. Contact us at ENT for Children for more information if you want to find out more about how to protect your child’s nose and throat health.