It’s hard to make it out of childhood without having at least one nosebleed in your lifetime. Seeing your own child have one can be pretty unsettling or scary, especially when they’re so unexpected.
A common kid occurrence, nosebleeds have a few different causes and most of the time are easily remedied. Still, unsightly dripping of blood from your child’s nose is mildly alarming. But there’s no reason to go rushing to the ER on red alert status! Do you know the best way to treat them at home?
Your first step is to stay calm. No need to freak out when your child might be prone to freaking out too. If your parent-child dynamic is one where your child is the calming force while you’re the anxious one, take a cue.
Instinctively, people want to tilt the head backwards to stop blood from coming out of the nose. This is not the correct way. Leaning back allows blood to trickle down the throat where it can cause choking or be swallowed.
You want to have your child lean slightly forward, blow, then use either your fingers or a cold washcloth to apply compression to the nose. Lightly squeeze both nostrils together, where it’s soft. Hold closed for five to ten minutes until the bleeding has stopped, making sure to keep the nostrils free of tissue.
Don’t peek during the few minutes you’re pinching or the bleeding could restart. If after ten minutes it still hasn’t subsided, try again and then call a doctor. You may also place a cold pack on the nose.
Recurring nosebleeds could be the result of factors such as allergies, dry air, cold environments, medication, or everyone’s favorite – nose picking. But to identify when it’s time to see a doc, look out for these signs:
- A child under two years of age with significant bleeding.
- Nose bleeds accompanied by injury, bloody gums, headache, vomiting, or facial pain. Follow-up testing or treatment may be necessary as infection, blood pressure issues, or major damage could be present.
- Frequent bleeding could also be the sign of something major like a tumor, or a hereditary disorder called Von Willibrand’s disease.
- If your child is pale, lethargic, or ill, see a physician.
Dry air can be rectified by placing a humidifier in the room, especially overnight. Ibuprofen or aspirin could also be a trigger, so stop using them immediately if you notice nosebleeds that occur with their use, as those meds are also blood thinners. Antihistamines or other allergy medicines can also dry out the nose and cause nosebleeds, so keeping the nose moist with a saline spray or petroleum jelly can aid in prevention.
Though nosebleeds are common in kids aged 2 to 10, if you’re worried about repeated incidences, bring it to the attention of your pediatrician. When there’s a pattern present like weather changes, low humidity, or a medication reaction, you can adjust accordingly.
Are you or your child a frequent sufferer of nosebleeds? What steps do you take to prevent or treat them at home? Share with us in the comments!