In children, nosebleeds are usually caused by bleeding close to the front, inside part of the nose. They can be scary, but they are common in children. Small clots with a nosebleed can be normal, especially after your child blows his nose. If your child also swallows blood, he may have an upset stomach. This could cause him to throw up small amounts of blood or blood clots.
What causes nosebleeds?
- Nose picking or blowing
- Sinus infections
- Injury to the nose
- Overly dry air
- Foreign matter in the nose
Some general treatment guidelines to follow include:
- Place your child in a sitting position with his head bent slightly forward.
- Apply firm pressure below the bony part of the nose with your thumb and forefinger.
- Hold the pressure for 5 to 10 minutes, even if the bleeding has stopped. Use a clock to time how long you hold pressure.
- Repeat the pressure two more times if the bleeding has not stopped.
If your child has an injury to his nose with bleeding and swelling, hold an ice pack on the bridge of the nose.
- Do not put tissue or gauze in your child’s nose.
- Use neo-synephrine nasal spray, such as Afrin, for bleeding if directed by your child’s doctor. Do not use these sprays for more than three days.
- Sniff instead of blowing the nose for one week.
- Teach your child not to pick his nose.
How do I help prevent nosebleeds?
- Keep your child’s fingernails closely and smoothly trimmed.
- Your child’s doctor may advise a medicine to help with nosebleeds if they are due to allergies.
- Place a cool mist humidifier by your child’s room or play area. This helps to keep the nose from getting dry.
Hot steam vaporizers are not safe. They may burn your child. Change the water and clean the humidifier each day. Follow the cleaning instructions that came with the machine, so it doesn’t grow germs and mold.
24 hours after a nosebleed stops:
- Place a small amount of petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, just inside the opening of the nose to help prevent drying of the nose.
- Rub the nostrils together gently to spread the jelly.
- Or, use saline nose drops to help prevent drying of the nose.
Call your child’s doctor if your child has:
- Bleeding that will not stop after 20 to 30 minutes, despite your treatment
- Lost a large amount of blood
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Bruises not caused by injury
- Foreign material in the nose or pus or bad smelling drainage from one side of the nose
Also call your child’s doctor if your child has bleeding from other areas in the body. This could mean that your child has another type of medical problem.