Looking for something?

Find it in our extensive resource library!

Smart Filters

  • Reset
  • Services

  • Who it's for

  • What it’s about

  • Format

View: 2278

Download: 54

Nose injury

My child’s nose is swollen, is it broken?

There is often swelling of the nose and tissues around it when a child injures their nose. It is often difficult to tell if an injury has occurred that requires treatment until the swelling settles. If it is broken, the majority heal without any problems.

Does my child need an X-ray?

No, an X-ray is not necessary. This is because the initial treatment is the same even if the nose is broken.

What is the treatment?

The swelling will improve by itself over the next 3 to 5 days. Ice packs to the nose can help to reduce the swelling and pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are helpful. There is some more information about giving paracetamol and ibuprofen here: Paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Will my child’s nose look different?

Sometimes the swelling can be worse on one side and this makes the nose appear uneven (asymmetrical) at first. When the swelling has gone down (usually after 5 days) most have no significant deformity.

If you are concerned about the shape of your child’s nose after the swelling has gone, please contact 0114 305 3585 and we will arrange for you to be seen in the next available ENT (nose specialist) clinic. Your child may need surgery to straighten the nose and if this is required this needs to be done within 14 days of the original injury.

What if my child’s nose bleeds?

Nose bleeds may occur following an injury. Simple first aid can usually stop the bleeding. Encourage or help your child to do the following:

  1. Sit up and lean forward. Breathe through their mouth.
  2. Using your index finger and thumb pinch the soft part of their nose firmly at the tip completely blocking the nostrils for 10 to 20 minutes with the head tilted forward.
  3. Encourage your child not to swallow the blood but instead to spit it out as it may cause them to vomit which can cause further nose bleeding.
  4. If available, a cold flannel around the nose and front of face will help as it causes the blood vessels to narrow. Alternatively, sucking on some ice will have the same effect.

This will stop the bleeding in most cases.

If the bleeding continues, return to A&E.

The following suggestions may help to reduce the likelihood of further bleeding:

  • encourage your child not to pick or blow their nose after nose bleeds
  • avoid hot food, drinks and baths for 24 hours
  • avoid strenuous activity

Further information

If you have any further questions or are worried, please contact 111 for advice in the first instance.

There is some more information about managing nosebleeds and nose injuries here:

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

Contact us


Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: ED19

Resource Type: Article

How useful did you find this resource?*


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.