Article at a Glance
- Nosebleeds are common and rarely serious.
- Treat nosebleeds by sitting upright, leaning your head forward, and pinching your nose closed for ten minutes.
- Nosebleeds occur when your nasal membrane is irritated or cracked and dried out.
Most kids are bound to get a nosebleed sooner or later, and although it might look terrifying, they are rarely serious. You can usually stop them with four simple steps.
- Sit up: By sitting up you make sure that your heart is below your head, which reduces the blood pressure in your nose.
- Lean your head forward: Many people think you are supposed to lean your head back, but this only makes the blood run down your throat. Swallowing blood can irritate your stomach and cause vomiting. Instead, lean your head a little bit forward.
- Apply pressure by pinching your nose: Pinch the soft part of your nose gently closed. You may want to use a tissue to catch any blood. You will want to maintain constant pressure for about ten minutes to make sure that the bleeding stops completely. Just breathe out of your mouth and don’t stop to check if it is working. You will want to keep the pressure constant for the full ten minutes.
- Take it easy: After a nosebleed, wait several hours before doing things like rough housing, running around, leaning forward, picking up heavy items, nose-blowing, or picking your nose.
When to call your pediatrician
Usually you don’t need to call the doctor, except in the following situations.
- If the nosebleed keeps reoccurring.
- If you have frequent nosebleeds.
- If you are taking blood thinners or aspirin, or if you recently started a new medication.
- If your child has put something up his nose.
- If you bruise easily or bleed heavily.
Call your pediatrician immediately if:
- the nosebleed lasts longer than 20 minutes.
- the nosebleed happened after you suffered trauma to the head.
- the bleeding is especially heavy or if you are faint or dizzy.
What causes nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds are generally caused by dry air, allergies, and colds—all of which Utah has plenty of. Nosebleeds happen when your nasal membrane is irritated or cracked and dried out. Blowing or picking your nose, taking antihistamines or decongestants, or scratching your nose can all cause it to bleed.
You can prevent nosebleeds by keeping your child’s nails short, using a saline nasal spray, and running a cool mist humidifier in your child’s room.
If you have nosebleeds more than once a week, your doctor may look to see if chronic colds or allergies are causing the problem. If not, your doctor may test for a bleeding disorder or to see if there is a problem with your blood vessels.