Treating Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a common part of growing up: About 56 percent of 6- to 10-year-olds and 64 percent of 11- to 15-year-olds suffer from nosebleeds that aren’t caused by trauma to the nose. While spontaneous nosebleeds can be distressing to parents, treating nosebleeds at home is typically effective.

Children with seasonal allergies and sinusitis are prone to nosebleeds, particularly in Colorado’s dry climate, and it’s not uncommon for children to trigger them by picking. In most cases, you’ll be able to treat them with first aid at home.

Treating nosebleeds:

  • Don’t encourage the child to tilt her head backward. This causes blood to flow down her throat, which can cause nausea or discomfort.
  • Sit upright and lean forward. This position relieves pressure from the capillaries in the nose, and prevents drainage into the throat.
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose. This staunches the bleeding and allows for natural clotting to occur. Keep her nose pinched for at least 10 minutes to allow for clotting.
  • Apply ice or a cold compress to the rigid portion of the nose. This causes capillaries to constrict, helping reduce blood flow.

In the vast majority of cases, basic first aid will be all your child requires to treat his nosebleed. However, you should seek treatment with your physician or urgent care facility if:

  • Bleeding doesn’t stop after 30 minutes of treatment.
  • Your child feels faint or lightheaded.
  • The bleeding was caused by an accident or injury to a part of the body outside the nose, such as a blow to the head or a fall.

If your child experiences nosebleeds more than once a week, it’s a good idea to consult with your pediatrician. While most are easily treated irritants that are tied to allergies or an arid climate, nosebleeds can be a sign of a more persistent illness.