Nosebleeds are fairly common, especially in children. Nearly every young child gets a nosebleed at some point, and some children are especially susceptible, having one or more a week. People who get nosebleeds frequently may have veins that are located very close to the mucous membranes in the nose. Those veins that are very close to the skin are more likely to burst if touched. Children who excessively pick their nose may also have frequent nosebleeds, whether or not their veins are near the skin’s surface. Discourage children from nose picking and keep their fingernails short to minimize the damage to the inside of the nose. If your ENT doctor determines that veins near the nose’s mucus membrane is the cause of the nosebleeds, a simple procedure can be performed to cauterize the veins near the very front of the nose.

In most cases, you don’t need to worry about nosebleeds. Nosebleeds are especially common in winter and dryer climates because of the dry air. Place a humidifier in the child’s room if dry air is the culprit of nosebleeds. Younger children who get frequent nosebleeds will often outgrow them by the time they are teenagers.

To treat a child’s nosebleed:

  1. Stay calm and reassure the child.
  2. Ask the child to spit any blood out of his or her mouth and sit down.
  3. With a clean washcloth or tissue, pinch the soft part of the child’s nose gently but firmly for 10 minutes, reminding the child to breathe slowly through his or her mouth.
  4. After 10 minutes, check and see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, reapply pressure for another 10 minutes. You can add a cold compress to the bridge of the nose as well.
  5. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes, call a doctor

Don’t let the child lie down or tilt his or her head back, as that causes the blood to go down the throat and can cause vomiting. Also avoid putting cotton in the nose before or after the nosebleed as cotton can disrupt the clotting process and may cause the bleed to re-open once it’s removed.

If a nosebleed is the result of injury, if your child loses a lot of blood, or if he or she is also bleeding from the mouth, contact your ENT doctor.

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