Nosebleeds are common in children and while it may seem frightening, most nosebleeds can be handled at home. Nosebleeds in children usually occur because of trauma. This can be by trauma to the inside of the nose, like picking at the nose or irritation due to a cold. It can also be by trauma to the outside of the nose, such as a blow to the face. It is most common in children between the ages of 2 and 10 years old.
Homes that have been built long ago may also lack humidification. This will make a child’s mucous membranes dry, and it can cause cracking and bleeding. Likewise, it is also frequent during the winter months and in dry, cold climates. Nosebleeds in children may also occur during respiratory illnesses, or after strenuous activity. It can also be associated with diseases such as rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, chickenpox, and measles. Certain illnesses like sinusitis, nasal polyps or allergic rhinitis may also cause nosebleeds.
To properly manage a nosebleed, parents should keep their child in an upright position with the head titled forward. This will reduce the blood pressure in nasal vessels, and it will also prevent the blood from moving back to the nasopharynx. Apply pressure by pinching your child’s nose, and have him breathe through his nose. This should continue for five to ten minutes, or until the bleeding stops. Applying pressure to the sides of the nose will help stop bleeding. Have the child spit out any blood that has entered his mouth to prevent from swallowing. Parents should also comfort the child in order for the child to stop crying. Crying will only aggravate bleeding because it increases pressure in the blood vessels of the head.
After the bleeding has stopped, parents need to take measures to prevent recurrence. Tell your child not to blow or pick on his nose, and to avoid bending down a few hours after the bleeding episode. If the bleeding has not stopped after pinching the nose for more than ten minutes, contact your health care provider. This is especially important if the nosebleed occurred after an injury such as a punch in the face or an accidental fall.
If you notice that your child has frequent episodes of nosebleeds, contact your health care provider in order to rule out possible causes. It is also necessary to go to the hospital if your child is exhibiting symptoms like difficulty in breathing, vomiting of blood, or if he complains of dizziness. A rash or a temperature of greater than 101.4 degrees Fahrenheit should also be reported to your physician.
If your child is prone to having nosebleeds, there can be ways that you can do at home to prevent occurrence. You can use a humidifier at night to counteract the drying effects of indoor heated air. Always keep your child’s fingernails short, in order to discourage nose picking. It is also necessary to teach your child on how to properly blow his nose, and to open his mouth when he sneezes to prevent nosebleeds.
Parents need to stay calm during a nosebleed episode because children are usually frightened at the sight of blood. Nosebleeds can be typically managed at home, for as long as it is not associated with any other disorder. Thus providing support and comfort to the child, is as important as proper management of nosebleeds at home.