posted: Oct. 07, 2020.
Has your child ever had a nosebleed? Nosebleeds are a common complaint in pediatric patients. When a nosebleed occurs, it can be quite alarming, but try not to worry because most nosebleeds are not dangerous. It may look like your child has lost a large amount of blood, but most nosebleeds do not cause significant blood loss. Remember that if you place one drop of water on a tissue, the water spreads out in a wide area. This same process happens when blood hits a tissue or clothing.
There are many different causes of nosebleeds. Some common causes include nasal congestion, injury/trauma, dry warm air, irritation from nose picking, or a foreign body.
The vast majority of nosebleeds can be treated at home. If a nosebleed occurs, try to stay calm and reassure your child. Nosebleed first aid includes:
- Lean head slightly forward and downward- do not lean the head backward as this can cause your child to swallow the blood which may cause them to vomit.
- Pinch the soft part of the nose with a tissue or wash cloth. Apply gentle yet firm pressure continuously for 10 minutes.
- Check if the bleeding has stopped after 10 minutes. If it has not, repeat for an additional 10 minutes.
- Do not place anything inside the nose such as tissues- when the tissues are removed the clot that has formed will be pulled away and more bleeding will occur.
There are different ways you can help reduce or prevent these bothersome nosebleeds. Prevention measures you can take include:
- Encourage drinking water
- Discourage nose picking
- Use nasal saline spray or apply a Vaseline covered Q-tip to the inside of nostrils to moisturize the inside of the nose
- Run a cool mist humidifier in child’s room during cold winter months when the air is dry
Rarely, nosebleeds may be a sign of a more serious problem and should be evaluated by one of our providers in the office. Worrisome signs occurring with nosebleeds include: frequent nosebleeds, nosebleeds that last longer than 30 minutes, family history of clotting or bleeding disorders, gum bleeding, prolonged bleeding after cuts or scrapes, or excessive and easy bruising in unusual places.