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Nose, Face, or Head Injuries and Possible Abuse

Injuries to the nose, face, and head are common in children and occur in:

  • Preschool children when they fall.
  • School-age children because of bicycle, skateboard, or playground accidents and athletic activities.
  • Teens because of athletic activities, fights, and automobile accidents.

Most injuries are not caused by abuse. But bruises are often the first sign of possible abuse. Suspect physical abuse when:

  • Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation given of how it occurred.
  • Repeated injuries occur.
  • Explanations change for how the injury happened.

You may be able to prevent further injuries by reporting abuse. Seek help if:

  • You suspect child abuse or elder abuse. Call your local child or adult protective agency, police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor.
  • You or someone you know is a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV).
  • You have trouble controlling your anger with a child or other person in your care. Resources are available for help.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised March 22, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 22, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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