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What to Do When Your Child Has a Nosebleed
What Causes Nosebleeds?
- Extremely cold and/or dry air, which dries out the mucous membranes of the nose
- Dust, pollen, or other allergens
- Frequent or forceful blowing of the nose or picking the nose
- Foreign objects placed inside the nose
- A blow to the nose
- Inflammation due to the common cold or flu
- Chronic use of nasal steroids
Who Is Susceptible?
What Should You Do?
- Stay calm, otherwise you could upset your child.
- Keep your child sitting or standing and leaning slightly forward. If your child lies back, the blood will flow down the throat and could cause vomiting. Older children may gently blow their noses.
- Do not try to stuff tissues or other material into your child's nose to stop the bleeding. Instead, firmly pinch the soft part of the nose using your fingers. Keep the pressure on for 10 minutes. Do not look to see if the bleeding has stopped during this time because you may start the flow again.
- If the bleeding has not stopped after 10 minutes, repeat the pressure for another 10 minutes.
- If the bleeding persists after the second try, call your pediatrician or take the child to the nearest hospital emergency department.
- Do not keep your home too warm during the winter. This dries out the air.
- Use a humidifier, vaporizer, or place pans of water on top of radiators or wood stoves during the winter to keep the air moist.
- Discourage nose picking and forceful nose blowing. .
- Talk to you doctor about using saltwater nasal sprays or lubrication such as petroleum jelly in your child's nose.
American Academy of Otolaryngology http://www.entnet.org
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
Canadian Family Physician http://www.cfpc.ca
Chronic nosebleeds: what to do. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Chronic-Nosebleeds-What-To-Do.aspx. Updated July 9, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2014.
Nosebleed. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 15, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2014.
Nosebleeds. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/nosebleeds.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed April 18, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 04/2014
- Update Date: 04/03/2014