Is this your child's symptom?
- Bleeding from 1 or both nostrils
- Not caused by an injury
Causes of Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are common because of the rich blood supply of the nose. Common causes include:
- Spontaneous Nosebleed. Most nosebleeds start up without a known cause.
- Rubbing. Rubbing or picking the nose is the most common known cause. It's hard to not touch or rub the nose.
- Blowing. Blowing the nose too hard can cause a nose bleed.
- Suctioning. Suctioning the nose can sometimes cause bleeding. This can happen if the suction tip is put in too far.
- Sinus Infections. The main symptoms are lots of dry snot and a blocked nose. This leads to extra nose blowing and picking. The sinus infection is more often viral than bacterial.
- Nose Allergies. The main symptom is a very itchy nose. This leads to extra rubbing and blowing.
- Dry Air. Dryness of the nasal lining makes it more likely to bleed. In the winter, forced air heating often can dry out the nose.
- Allergy Medicines. These help the nasal symptoms, but also dry out the nose.
- Ibuprofen and Aspirin. These medicines increase the bleeding tendency. Aspirin is not used in children.
- Bleeding Disorder (Serious). This means the blood platelets or clotting factors are missing or not working right. A bleeding disorder should be suspected if the nosebleed can't be stopped. Excessive bleeding from the gums or with minor cuts is also a clue. Bleeding disorders are a rare cause of frequent nosebleeds.
When to Call Us for Nosebleed
Call 911 Now
Call Doctor or Seek Care Now
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
Self Care at Home
Care Advice for Nosebleed
- What You Should Know About Nosebleeds:
- Nosebleeds are common.
- You should be able to stop the bleeding if you use the correct technique.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Squeeze the Lower Nose:
- Gently squeeze the soft parts of the lower nose together. Gently press them against the center wall for 10 minutes. This puts constant pressure on the bleeding point.
- Use the thumb and index finger in a pinching manner.
- If the bleeding continues, move your point of pressure.
- Have your child sit up and breathe through the mouth during this procedure.
- If rebleeds, use the same technique again.
- Put Gauze into the Nose:
- If pressure alone fails, use a piece of gauze. Wet it with a few drops of water. Another option is to put a little petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) on it.
- Insert the wet gauze into the side that is bleeding. Press again for 10 minutes. Reason it works: the gauze puts more pressure on the bleeding spot.
- Special nose drops: if your child has lots of nose bleeds, buy some decongestant nose drops. An example is Afrin. No prescription is needed. Put 3 drops on the gauze and press. The nose drops also shrink the blood vessels in the nose.
- Caution: don't use decongestant nose drops if your child is under 1 year of age.
- If you don't have gauze, use a piece of paper towel.
- Repeat the process of gently squeezing the lower soft parts of the nose. Do this for 10 minutes.
- Prevent Recurrent Nosebleeds:
- If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier to keep the nose from drying out.
- For nose blowing, blow gently.
- For nose suctioning, don't put the suction tip very far inside. Also, move it gently.
- Do not use aspirin and ibuprofen. Reason: Increases bleeding tendency.
- Bleeding areas in the front of the nose sometimes develop a scab. It may heal slowly and re-bleed. If that happens to your child, try this tip. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to the spot. Repeat twice a day. Do not use for more than 1 week.
- What to Expect:
- Over 99% of nosebleeds will stop if you press on the right spot.
- It may take 10 minutes of direct pressure.
- After swallowing blood from a nosebleed, your child may vomit a little blood.
- Your child may also pass a dark stool tomorrow from swallowed blood.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Can't stop bleeding with 10 minutes of direct pressure done correctly
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.