Child care: Dealing with nosebleed

Fact Checked

Nosebleed in children might seem dramatic for most parents, but it is not usually serious. It is vital that you are prepared to properly care for a nosebleed.

Posterior or anterior?

A nosebleed can be categorized as posterior or anterior.

  • Anterior – this is the most common form where blood originates from the front part of the nose. It is usually due to the rupture of the tiny blood vessels within the nose or capillaries.
  • Posterior – the bleeding originates deeper within the nose. This type is uncommon among children unless linked to a nasal or facial injury.
    You can also apply an ice pack on the bridge of the nose to reduce the blood flow.

What are the causes?

  • Dry air – whether it is dry climate or heated indoor air, the usual cause of nosebleed among children is dry air that irritates and dries up the nasal membranes
  • Trauma – if an injury involves the nose, bleeding can start. In most cases, it is not a big issue, but it is best to seek medical care if the bleeding could not be controlled after 10 minutes or worried about the injury
  • Picking or scratching – this is another usual cause since picking or scratching the nose can expose the blood vessels that are prone to damage
  • Bacterial infections – these can cause reddened, sore and crusted areas on the skin within the nose and in front of the nostrils.
  • Common cold, sinus infection or allergies – conditions that cause nasal congestion and irritation can lead to bleeding.

Management of nosebleed

  • Keep the child in an upright position and gently tilt the head forward. If the head is leaned backwards, it causes the blood to flow down to the throat.
  • Grasp the soft region of the nose beneath the nasal bridge. Instruct the child to breathe via the mouth while this is being done.
  • Continue to maintain pressure for around 10 minutes. If released early, the bleeding might start again. You can also apply an ice pack on the bridge of the nose to reduce the blood flow.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a nosebleed is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage nosebleed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Mississauga First Aid.

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