Children suffer facial injuries most commonly today as the result of car accidents. But younger children — those under the age of 3 — most often suffer facial injuries due to falls. The damage can range from mild to severe, but in many cases, oral surgery is necessary to repair it. It’s helpful to know how to recognize the indications that your child’s facial injury may be serious, or even require the attention of a surgeon.
Types of Injuries
Facial damage falls into three categories: soft tissue, bone and mouth injuries. In the case of soft tissue damage, the key is to determine whether the injury requires stitching up, or if the tissue can heal on its own. In some cases, dental assistance may be required, as soft tissue damage can occur within the mouth as well. Most soft tissue damage occurs outside of the mouth, however, in the form of cuts or contusions. Bone damage of any kind requires medical attention, and in extreme cases, screws or plates may be used. Jaw and tooth damage require the assistance of a dental professional.
Tips for Prevention
Providing your child with proper protection is the first step in preventing facial injuries. Protective equipment is available for all types of sports, as well as your child’s daily play activities. Although you can’t prevent car accidents, you can minimize the risk by using car seats correctly, or, if age warrants, making sure your child is always buckled up. Although you don’t want to be a helicopter parent, use common sense and watch your kids to keep them out of potentially dangerous situations. Still, kids will be kids, and many parents get that dreaded phone call that their child has fallen off the swing set again.
Oral Surgery for Facial Injuries
Oral surgery may be necessary to correct mouth and bone injuries in children. You can help minimize the damage by taking quick action before going to the hospital or oral surgeon. If teeth have been knocked out, place the teeth in milk or highly concentrated salt water for preservation. Never try to move or clean any partially dislodged teeth, as this can cause further damage to surrounding ligaments and support structures.
Injuries of all kinds are common in children, due to their high level of physical activity and rambunctious nature. If your child has experienced soft tissue, bone or tooth damage, contact OMS of Utah immediately. Their compassionate team can advise you on the next steps to take in response to your child’s facial injuries.