A common question anyone would ask: What to do when your child has a bloody nose? Well, nosebleeds in children are a common occurrence. Especially for those between 3 and 10 years of age.
What to do when your child has a bloody nose becomes a question most mothers and caregivers ask.
Most times, they are due to dry air, nose picking, and blowing the nose too hard. While it can be scary, it is rarely a cause for alarm. My house is no stranger to nosebleeds. For my older child, it all started with a minor fall, and yes, even with my background, as a mom, you can’t help but panic. We have since dealt with bloody noses, due to one reason or another.
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The nose has an abundant blood supply, that is why it tends to bleed more. Some of the most common causes include rubbing, blowing or picking of the nose.
Additionally, there are other common causes of bloody noses in kids.
- Trauma: Your child may experience this condition if they get hit by a ball, if they fall, or bumps into others when playing. Also be careful if you use suctioning tools, as this may cause trauma if not careful. You might notice either a small trickle or a gush of blood.
- Chronic illness: A person with a long-term illness that requires extra oxygen or if using any other medication (such as medicated nose sprays), is predisposed to thinning of the mucosal membrane inside the nose. A thin lining makes someone vulnerable to frequent nosebleeds.
- Dry air: Dry air, either from a dry climate or heated indoor air irritates the nasal lining and may lead to nosebleeds.
- Cold, allergies and Sinus infections: Frequent blowing, stuffy or itchy nose all contribute to thinning the lining inside your nose. The constant rubbing and picking cause trauma as well, making them prone to bleeding.
- Blood disorder: You may or may not be aware of this at the moment the nosebleed occurs. A workup with your child’s provider is in order. Suspicion is raised for this possibility when nosebleeds are frequent enough and are not correlated to any other causes; especially if there is excessive bleeding anywhere else including the gums or after minor cuts.
- Spontaneous nosebleed: Other times, they occur without any reason.
- Foreign object: A child may put an object up their nose (yes, one of son’s proudly announced to me one day that he placed something up his nose), which may irritate the nasal tissue causing them to bleed.
What to do when it happens. While most nosebleeds stop by themselves after a few minutes, others may persist a little bit longer. Either way, it is crucial that you know what to do to help stop it.
How to stop a nosebleed
- Help your child (and you) stay calm by reassuring them.
- Let your kid sit or stand upright, or slightly lean forward. Do not let them lie down or lean back because this may cause the blood to flow down their throat which can cause vomiting.
- Do not stuff tissue, cotton, or any other material to stop the bleeding.
- Gently, but firmly, pinch the soft part of his nose (using the thumb and index finger) and keep the same pressure on for 10 minutes. Do not stop to check if your child is breathing during this period as it may trigger the flow to start again.
- Have your child breathe through their mouth while you are holding pressure on the nose.
- If after 10 minutes the bleeding doesn’t stop, repeat the same procedure for another 10 minutes. If it persists after the 2nd 10 minutes, call your provider or visit the nearest clinic.
How to identify an emergency:
- It lasts for more than 30 minutes
- Your child has lost a lot of blood
- Your kid is high-risk, meaning, they have low platelets or suffers other bleeding disorders
- You think your child has a life-threatening condition
- Your baby is too weak to stand, feels light-headed or passes out
- If the nosebleed follows an accident, a punch in the face, a fall, especially an injury to the head as they may have suffered a broken nose.
How to prevent nosebleeds
If your child gets frequent nosebleeds, talk to his or her provider and find out if you can use saline drops to stop it. This prevention tip is especially helpful if you live in a dry climate or during the wintertime when the heat is on inside the house all the time. Also, consider using a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels in your home to prevent nasal drying.
I have started making a nosebleed kit for my son. It contains a highly absorbable washcloth to catch the blood and wipe any rogue droplets. A cotton swab and petroleum jelly to coat the lining inside his nose when after the bleeding has stopped.