Frequent nosebleeds in children

By:   Vanessa Lee

Treating frequent nosebleeds in children

Nosebleeds start when one of the small veins in its lining bursts. Nosebleeds generally start when the child blows their nose too hard, picks at their nose, has uncontrolled allergies, has dry mucous membranes in the nose, or has the nose bumped.

It is important for the parent to stay calm as children often become scared because there is so much blood. Most importantly, it is essential that parents know how to effectively treat a child’s nosebleed.

· When the child is sitting down, hold their nostrils with your fingers, a handkerchief or a facecloth.

· Pinch the lower, soft part of the nose between the thumb and forefinger.

· The grip should be firm and the pressure on the nose steady.

· Hold the child’s nose for 10 minutes. Look at a watch so you are sure 10 minutes have passed before letting go.

· If the child is old enough, teach them how and where to hold their own nose.

· If in doubt, have the doctor or health visitor show you how to hold the nose.

· It may be a good idea to read a story or watch television while waiting, to divert the child’s attention.

· After the nosebleed has stopped, the child should not play any rough games for a couple of hours to prevent the nosebleed starting again.

· Tell the child not to pick, rub or blow their nose for a couple of days.

· If the bleeding continues, try the same procedure once more.

· If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call the doctor

After you have learned to treat a nosebleed, you will want to know the steps to take to prevent them. If your child does not have other signs of a bleeding disorder, like easy bruising, bleeding gums, etc., the dry air may be the culprit. In addition to a humidifier, it may help to use a saline moisturizing nose spray and/or a nasal gel or vaseline on a regular basis to keep their nasal passages from getting dry and irritated.

Occasionally a blood vessel in the nose needs to be cauterized, so if the child continues to have problems, in addition to seeing your Pediatrician, you might see a Pediatric ENT specialist for further evaluation.

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