Keeping Kids Healthy Advice
Many children get an occasional nosebleed. This can be disturbing for both the parent and child because it seems like a lot of blood has been lost. If your child gets a nosebleed, it is important that you remain calm and try to keep your child calm. The amount of blood lost is usually minimal and nosebleeds are not very serious.
The nasal membrane, or lining of the nose, keeps dust and other particles from going through the nose into the body. Nosebleeds occur when small blood vessels in the nasal membrane break. Unexpected nosebleeds can happen when the nasal membrane has been irritated by lots of sneezing, blowing, or coughing due to allergies or a cold. They are also common in the winter because heaters produce dry air that can cause the lining of the nose to dry out. Children can also break nasal blood vessels when they pick their nose.
If your child gets a nosebleed, stay calm and try to calm your child. Have them sit or stand, lean their head forward. Use tissues or a damp washcloth to catch the blood. They should not lie down or lean their head back because they will may swallow blood, and they will vomit. Pinch the soft part of the nostrils for 10 minutes without letting go. This applies pressure to the blood vessels and allows the blood to thicken and form a scab. If the bleeding does not stop, try holding the nose for another 10 minutes.
There are several things that you can do to try to prevent frequent nosebleeds. Remind your child to not pick their nose. When the lining of the nose dries out, it sometimes feels itchy. Children pick their nose to get rid of the itchy feeling. You can apply a very small amount of petroleum jelly with a cotton swab or saline nose drops in each nostril to relieve the dryness. A humidifier may be useful, but may aggravate allergies.
If your child gets nosebleeds often and they are hard to stop, talk to your pediatrician. Nosebleeds are not normally serious, but if they occur frequently, your child’s doctor may run some blood tests to see if their blood has trouble clotting.
You should call your child’s doctor or go the emergency room if the bleeding lasts for more than 15 minutes after you have tried to stop it, if your child has lost a large amount of blood very quickly (more than about 3 teaspoons), if your child is if you think your child has a broken nose, if the bleeding is going down the back of the throat rather than coming out of the nose, if your child feels weak or ill, if your child is having trouble breathing, if your child is bleeding from other parts of the body, such as the gums or ears, if the bleeding occurs three or more times in 24 hours, or if your child has put something up their nose.