Nosebleeds are scary at the best of times but they're downright terrifying when they occur in your young children. Fortunately, most nosebleeds in children are harmless and have innocent and easily treatable causes. Understanding what these causes are, and when you need to worry, will provide some much-needed peace of mind the next time there is a bleed.
How to Prevent Nosebleeds in Children
Nosebleeds are common in young children. In fact, children aged between 3 and 10 are the age group most likely to experience nosebleeds. They spend more time picking their noses and are also more likely to stuff crayons and other objects inside their nose, thus increasing the risk of nosebleeds.
Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and are known as anterior nosebleeds. They occur when the tiny blood vessels in the nasal septum are damaged. In addition to nose picking, low humidity, nose rubbing, sinus infections, repeated sneezing, and even blowing the nose too hard can all trigger nosebleeds.
If you're convinced that your child isn't picking or rubbing their nose, and they don't have a sinus infection, runny nose, or other nasal issues, it could be related to humidity. The skin inside the nose becomes dry and cracked during low humidity and can be fixed by introducing some more humidity to their environment or adding a little petroleum jelly to the damaged area.
Some of the more serious causes of nosebleeds include trauma and conditions that cause the blood vessels to form abnormally. If they have a bleeding disorder, they may also bleed more heavily once the blood vessels have broken.
What to do When Your Child's Nose Bleeds
The first step is to keep your child calm. Reassure them, let them know it's nothing to worry about, and make sure you're calm, as well. If the parent is panicking, the child will panic too, and that will just make things worse.
Sit them down, prevent them from leaning backward, and tilt their head slightly forward. Otherwise, the blood may run down the throat and into the stomach, causing gagging, difficulty breathing, nausea, and vomiting.
Using your thumb and index finger, gently pinch the soft part of the nose, just under the bridge. Maintain light pressure for 5 to 10 minutes to promote blood clotting.
The bleeding should have stopped when you release pressure. If not, and assuming the bleeding is not heavy, you can repeat the process. If there is a lot of blood, you will need to seek medical attention. The same is true for nosebleeds that continue for more than 15 to 20 minutes.
Once the bleeding has stopped, make sure they relax and avoid intense activity, showers, baths, nose blowing, nose rubbing, and nose picking for at least a few hours.
What about a Child Under 1?
As noted above, nosebleeds are common in children, but they are more of a concern in children under 1. They are less likely to pick their nose and stuff objects inside their nose.
Frequent nosebleeds in children under the age of 1 are more likely to be indicative of a serious problem, although the cause could still be completely innocuous. In any case, you should contact a pediatrician if your young child or baby has a nosebleed.
When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider
You should contact a healthcare provider if you notice frequent nosebleeds and you are unable to find a direct or obvious cause. You can contact a healthcare provider during office hours and arrange for an appointment, as it's not something that demands immediate attention, but if you are unable to stop the bleeding and your child seems to be losing a lot of blood, you should call for emergency care.
A healthcare professional can run the necessary tests to determine what the issue is. They also have the tools needed to stop a heavy nosebleed and prevent further blood loss.
If a doctor has determined that the nosebleeds don't have a serious cause, but you are still worried about heavy bleeding, purchase a pack of Nampons. They can stop nosebleeds quickly and cleanly and are good to have around if you have kids who experience frequent nosebleeds.