A  A  A   Print
NosebleedsHemorragias Nasales

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be a scary occurrence, but are usually not dangerous. The medical term for nosebleed is epistaxis. They are fairly common in children, especially in dry climates or during the winter months when dry heat inside homes and buildings can cause drying, cracking, or crusting inside the nose. Many times, children outgrow the tendency for nosebleeds during their teenage years.

The front part of the nose contains many fragile blood vessels that can be damaged easily. Most nosebleeds in children occur in the front part of the nose close to the nostrils.

What causes a nosebleed?

Nosebleeds are caused by many factors, but some of the most common causes include the following:

  • Picking the nose

  • Blowing the nose too hard

  • Injury to the nose

  • Over-dry air

  • Colds and allergies

  • Foreign body in the nose

Many times no apparent cause for a nosebleed can be found.

First-aid for nosebleeds

  • Calm your child and let him or her know you can help.

  • Pinch the nostrils together for five to 10 minutes without checking to see if bleeding has stopped.

  • Have your child sit up and lean forward to avoid swallowing blood.

  • Apply ice or a cold water compress to the bridge of the nose.

  • If bleeding does not stop, try the above steps one more time.

  • Do not pack your child's nose with tissues or gauze.

When should I call my child's physician?

Specific treatment for nosebleeds, that require more than minor treatment at home, will be determined by your child's physician. In general, call your child's physician for nosebleeds if:

  • You are unable to stop the nosebleed or if it recurs.

  • Your child also has a nose injury that may indicate a more serious problem (such as a fractured nose or other trauma to the head).

  • There is a large amount or rapid loss of blood.

  • Your child feels faint, weak, ill, or has trouble breathing.

  • Your child has bleeding from other parts of the body (such as in the stool, urine, or gums) or bruises easily.

  • A foreign body is stuck in your child's nose.

Prevention of nosebleeds

If your child has frequent nosebleeds, some general guidelines to help prevent nosebleeds from occurring include the following:

  • Use a cool mist humidifier in your child's room at night if the air in your home is dry. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's advice for cleaning the humidifier so that germs and mold do not grow in it.

  • Teach your child not to pick his or her nose or blow it too forcefully.

  • Apply petroleum jelly inside the nostrils several times a day, especially at bedtime, to help keep the area moist.

  • Use saline (salt water) drops or a saline nose spray, as directed by your child's physician.

  • See your child's physician for treatment of allergies that may contribute to frequent nosebleeds.

 
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.