Craniofacial trauma in children involves any injury to the face, upper jaw bone, or skull. It can include skeletal injury, skin injuries and injuries to the neck, nose, eye socket, sinuses, teeth and other mouth parts. It is usually identified by a laceration, swelling or bruising of the facial tissue. Signs of fractures include bruising around the eyes, called Raccoon’s eyes or behind the ear, called a battle sign. One can see a widening of the space between the eyes or teeth that are not in alignment. There can be bleeding from the nose, ears or mouth.
There are about 3 million people treated for facial trauma in United States emergency rooms. Of the children involved, 5 percent have suffered facial fractures. In kids under the age of three, most of them suffered their injury due to a fall. In kids over the age of five, motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of craniofacial injuries. This means that seatbelts and proper child restraints can reduce the risk of facial trauma.