Nosebleeds are very common throughout childhood. They are usually caused by dryness of the nasal lining plus the normal rubbing and picking that all children do when the nose becomes blocked or itchy. Vigorous nose blowing can also cause bleeding. All of these behaviors are increased in children with nasal allergies.
Lean Forward and Spit Out Any Blood. Have your child sit up and lean forward so he does not swallow the blood. Have a basin available so he can spit out any blood that drains into his throat. Blow his nose free of any large clots that might interfere with applying pressure. Squeeze the soft part of the nose. Tightly pinch the soft parts of the nose against the center wall for 10 minutes. Don’t release the pressure until 10 minutes are up. If the bleeding continues, you may not be pressing on the right spot. During this time, your child will have to breathe through his mouth. If bleeding continues, use vasoconstrictor nose drops and squeeze again. If the nosebleed hasn’t stopped, inset a piece of gauze covered with vasoconstrictor nose drops or petroleum jelly into the nostril. Squeeze again for 10 minutes. Leave the gauze in for another 10 minutes before removing it. If bleeding persists, continue the pressure and call our office. Swallowed blood is irritating to the stomach. Don’t be surprised if it is vomited up.
- A cold washcloth applied to the forehead, back of the neck, bridge of the nose, or under the upper lip doesn’t help stop bleeding.
- Pressing on the bony part of the nose doesn’t stop the bleeding.
- Avoid packing the nose with anything, because when the packing is removed, bleeding usually recurs.
- A small amount of petroleum jelly applied twice each day to the center wall inside the nose is often helpful for relieving dryness and itching.
- Increasing the humidity in the room at night by using a humidified may also be helpful.
- Get your child into the habit of putting 2 or 3 drops of warm water in each nostril before blowing a stuffy nose.
- Avoid aspirin. One aspirin can increase the tendency of the body to bleed easily for up to a week and can make nosebleeds last much longer.
- If your child has nasal allergies, treating them with antihistamines will help break the itching-bleeding cycle.
Call our office IMMEDIATELY if . . .
- The bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes of direct pressure.
Call our office during regular hours if . . .
- Nosebleeds occur frequently, even after petroleum jelly and humidification are used.
- You have other questions or concerns.