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Nasal Packing in Children: Care Instructions


After a nose injury or surgery, gauze is packed high up into the nose to stop the bleeding. Your doctor will remove the packing after it has been in place for a few days.

Your child's face may look puffy. And the skin near your child's eyes may be bruised. This may last for many days. But it will fade over time.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?


  • Make sure your child is not active for 1 week or until your doctor says it is okay. Don't let your child do things like ride a bike, jog, or dance.


  • Your child will need to avoid certain drugs for 3 weeks after surgery, unless your doctor gives you other instructions. Do not give aspirin or drugs that have aspirin in them. And avoid anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
  • Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • Do not give your child two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • If you think the pain medicine is making your child sick to the stomach:
    • Have your child take the medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.

Other instructions

  • Do not let your child blow their nose for 1 week after surgery.
  • Do not let your child put anything into their nose.
  • If your child must sneeze, have your child open their mouth and sneeze normally.
  • Follow your doctor's advice for taking care of the packing. Your doctor may want to take it out at the doctor's office.
  • Use saline (saltwater) nasal washes to help keep your child's nasal passages open. This will wash out mucus and dried blood. You can buy saline nose washes at a grocery store or drugstore. Follow the instructions on the package. Or you can make your own at home. Add 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of non-iodized salt and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of baking soda to 2 cups (500 mL) of distilled or boiled then cooled water. Fill a squeeze bottle or neti pot with the nasal wash. Then put the tip into your child's nostril, and have them lean over the sink. Your child's mouth should be open as you gently squirt the liquid into the nose. Repeat on the other side.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child has trouble breathing.

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has a new or worse fever.
  • Your child has new or worse redness, swelling, or pain.
  • Your child has bleeding through the nasal packing that is not slowing.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.