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Nosebleeds

Bleeding from the nose is a common problem. A nosebleed usually occurs without warning and is usually not serious. Nosebleeds are usually caused by trauma to the nose such as picking the nose, or putting something in the nose, or colds or allergies. Nosebleeds often happen in the winter when the air is dry.

A doctor will examine your child’s nose and talk to you about your child’s nosebleed. If there has been an injury to the nose x-rays may be taken to look for any broken bones.

To stop a nosebleed:

  • Have your child sit or stand and lean forward. Do not tilt the head back. This will cause blood to run down the back of the throat.
  • Keep your child calm and quiet.
  • Press and hold the nostrils closed for 5-10 minutes. Do this by placing your fingers on the soft part of your child’s nose on each side. Have your child breathe through the mouth.
  • If the nosebleed continues, you may try moistening a cotton ball with Afrin ® (oxymetazoline) and placing the cotton inside the bleeding nostril and applying gentle pressure for 5-10 minutes.

Preventing nosebleeds:

  • During winter months, heat in your home may cause the air to be dry. Turning down the temperature in your home at night may help.
  • A cool mist humidifier can help keep moisture in the air and may decrease the number of nosebleeds. A cool mist humidifier must be emptied and completely cleaned between each use.
  • Night-time lubrication with an antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin® or Neosporin® to the inside of the nose may also be helpful.

When to call your child's doctor:

  • Bleeding will not stop
  • Your child feels faint, dizzy, light-headed or weak
  • Nosebleeds happen frequently or are associated with blockage of the nose
  • If you have any questions or concerns

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 12/2008