Nose

If your child’s nose is bleeding, you may feel panicked and confused as to how to stop the bleeding. Your child may be afraid to see blood coming from his or her nose, but it's important that you help your child remain as calm as possible.

Nosebleeds are generally nothing to worry about and not a sign of a serious underlying condition. There are several easy and effective ways to stop a nosebleed.

But first, what causes a nosebleed? If your child’s nose is bleeding, there are several causes that may be the culprit, including nose picking, an injury to the face or a dry nose.

  • Aggressive nose picking is common among young children, so it's important to provide your child with soft tissues and to teach appropriate hygiene practices. During a cold, your child may be more likely to experience a nosebleed because of vigorous nose blowing or nose picking.
  • If your child plays sports, a bloody nose almost certainly will occur at some point in your child’s sport’s career.
  • If your child experiences a dry nose, it may be necessary to use a humidifier or saline spray to prevent nosebleeds. Also, winter is a common time of year for a child’s nose to bleed.

How can you stop your child’s nosebleed? Below are three steps you should follow.

1. Lean forward. Have your child lean his or her head slightly forward in a sitting or standing position. Do not tell your child to lean his or her head back. Doing so may cause your child’s nose bleed to drip into the stomach or lungs, which could cause vomiting.

2. Pinch. Pinch your child’s nose just below the bony part. Hold the pinch for at least 10 minutes without releasing to check the bleeding. Doing so may start the flow of blood again.

3. Ice. After the 10 minutes of pressure, place an ice pack on the nose.

After the bleeding has stopped, make sure your child stays in an upright position and does not blow or pick his or her nose.

When should you see a doctor for nosebleeds?

If your child’s nose continues to bleed profusely after you’ve followed these steps, take your child to a pediatrician or emergency room. The bleed may need to be cauterized to seal the blood vessels. Chronic nosebleeds may be a sign of a clotting disorder or other medical problem.

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Dr. Danielle Empson is a pediatrician with Boys Town National Research Hospital. To read more about Dr. Empson, click here.

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