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At Koa, as we have previously discussed, we take every possible precaution to ensure that children are protected from injury. However, every athlete and parent should be aware that accidents happen. Most injuries include minor cuts and bruises and will heal on their own in little time. Occasionally, however, more serious injuries occur and these can affect your child’s ability to compete and long term health. Nose injuries are a common example of such an injury.

A serious impact can sometimes lead to what is known as a deviated septum, in which the septum– the wall of cartilage and bone dividing the two nasal passages is bent or misaligned. This can lead to partial occlusion of a nasal passage, resulting in breathing difficulties. In turn, these breathing difficulties can make it more difficult for your young athlete to run and play normally.

There are surgeries available in the area, such as septoplasty in DC and septorhinoplasty in DC. However, even the best plastic surgeons DC has to offer are reluctant to touch a child’s nose. Children whose bones are still developing are more susceptible to long-term negative effects from the surgery, which may not be detectable for years. Also, facial surgery is an extremely fine-tuned art, requiring the work of expert hands. This is even more the case in young patients, whose bones are smaller and more delicate than an adult’s. In most cases, pediatric facial surgery is reserved for children who suffer from very severe injuries, often at birth, and whose breathing and, potentially, their ability to eat, breathe, and function normally, depend on it.

As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One of the best ways to handle a nose injury is not to sustain one. Obviously we are not suggesting your children stay indoors and avoid physical activity. Instead we recommend listening carefully to coach instructions and remaining alert to avoid any danger. Nose guards and masks are also excellent tools that our young athletes can utilize. Nose guards and masks can absorb a large part of the impact when athletes crash into one another or–hopefully not!– a goal post.

Many children who sustain nose injuries in their youth grow up to be perfectly healthy. Some go on to have the problem corrected as adults. This procedure is expensive, however, and ultimately, we hope your young athletes will play it safe and avoid these types of problems all together.

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