As a parent, the first time you witness a nosebleed in your child or in your child’s friend, it can be scary – and your child may be alarmed if they see blood or notice that you are alarmed! Luckily, there’s usually a simple explanation behind most nosebleeds.
A nosebleed is a loss of blood from the tissues lining the nose, and they are most common in children from 2 to 10 years old.
The inside of the nose has many small blood vessels that can bleed easily, and most nosebleeds happen in the nasal septum, which is the tissue that divides the two sides of the nose. Most nosebleeds are rarely serious or life-threatening, and there are things you can do to treat your child’s nosebleed at home.
Causes of Nosebleeds
Most nosebleeds commonly occur due to a minor irritation or a cold. Allergies or sinus problems can also lead to nosebleeds.
Cold, hot, or very dry air can also encourage the nose to bleed. It may sometimes be caused by injury to the nose when your child has fallen or hit their nose against an object, or even just because the child is picking their nose.
How to Stop the Nose from Bleeding
First, reassure your child, and act calmly and confidently. The sight of blood or the sensation of it flowing outside your child’s face may be disturbing to your child and/or yourself. Remember, a nosebleed is generally not a medical emergency, and it’s common in children.
Have your child sit down comfortably. The child should tilt their head back slightly. Then, softly squeeze the hard upper part of the child’s nose while holding a tissue under the nostrils to catch any blood.
The child can hold the tissue for you to help, as long as they are not too scared or disturbed. Most children handle the situation calmly as long as the parent and others in the room are calm and are not overreacting.
You and your child should remain in this position for several minutes. It may take up to 10 or 15 minutes for the bleeding to stop. To check to see whether the bleeding has stopped, have the child move their head back into a normal position and tell the child to breathe very lightly.
You can also try applying cold compresses or ice wrapped in a hand towel across the bridge and the top base of the nose, or you can also use a cold, wet facecloth. The cold may help stop the bleeding in about 5-10 minutes.
Avoid packing or blocking the inside of the nose with cloth, gauze, or tissue, because this will just cause the bleeding to resume once removed.
When to Seek Medical Help for a Nosebleed
Although most nosebleeds in children are not dangerous, some cases do necessitate a call to your health care provider or a visit to an urgent care clinic. Nosebleeding may be serious when:
- The bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes or increases in volume.
- The bleeding occurs after sinus surgery or a related medical procedure.
- The child has recently fallen or hit their head or face against a hard surface, such as furniture or a wall.
- The child has had repeated nosebleeds without an obvious cause. Frequent nosebleeds can indicate a blood clotting disorder or sinus issue.
Who Can Help My Child’s Nosebleeds?
Regardless of whether you think you know the cause, nosebleeds can be unnerving for both you and your child. To take care of serious nosebleeds, or to get confirmation that everything you have done is enough, visit our conveniently located urgent care center and see an expert.
If you live in or are visiting the San Antonio area, Tots ’N’ Teens Pediatric Urgent Care offers convenient and comprehensive care, even after hours, and could save you time and money compared with heading to the hospital ER.
Call Tots ’N’ Teens Pediatric Urgent Care at 210-267-5411 for specialized urgent care services for children up to age 18. Check in online, or walk right in – we offer convenient hours when other doctors have closed their doors for the day, including on the weekends and holidays. We’ll be here to take care of your child.