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  • Select from over 100 symptoms to read more about managing your child's illness.

    Is Your Child Sick? TM


    Nosebleed

    Is this your child's symptom?

    • Bleeding from 1 or both nostrils
    • Not caused by an injury

    If NOT, try one of these:


    Causes of Nosebleeds

    Nosebleeds are common because of the rich blood supply of the nose. Common causes include:

    • Spontaneous Nosebleed. Most nosebleeds start up without a known cause.
    • Rubbing. Rubbing or picking the nose is the most common known cause. It's hard to not touch or rub the nose.
    • Blowing. Blowing the nose too hard can cause a nose bleed.
    • Suctioning. Suctioning the nose can sometimes cause bleeding. This can happen if the suction tip is put in too far.
    • Sinus Infections. The main symptoms are lots of dry snot and a blocked nose. This leads to extra nose blowing and picking. The sinus infection is more often viral than bacterial.
    • Nose Allergies. The main symptom is a very itchy nose. This leads to extra rubbing and blowing.
    • Dry Air. Dryness of the nasal lining makes it more likely to bleed. In the winter, forced air heating often can dry out the nose.
    • Allergy Medicines. These help the nasal symptoms, but also dry out the nose.
    • Ibuprofen and Aspirin. These medicines increase the bleeding tendency. Aspirin is not used in children.
    • Bleeding Disorder (Serious). This means the blood platelets or clotting factors are missing or not working right. A bleeding disorder should be suspected if the nosebleed can't be stopped. Excessive bleeding from the gums or with minor cuts is also a clue. Bleeding disorders are a rare cause of frequent nosebleeds.

    When to Call for Nosebleed

    When to Call for Nosebleed

    Call 911 Now

    • Passed out (fainted) or too weak to stand
    • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

    Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

    • Nosebleed that won't stop after 10 minutes of squeezing the nose correctly
    • Large amount of blood has been lost
    • New skin bruises or bleeding gums not caused by an injury also present
    • High-risk child (such as with low platelets or other bleeding disorder)
    • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

    Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

    • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

    Call Doctor During Office Hours

    • Age less than 1 year old
    • New onset nosebleeds happen 3 or more times in a week
    • Hard-to-stop nosebleeds are a frequent problem
    • Easy bleeding is present in other family members
    • You have other questions or concerns

    Self Care at Home

    • Mild nosebleed

    Call 911 Now

    • Passed out (fainted) or too weak to stand
    • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

    Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

    • Nosebleed that won't stop after 10 minutes of squeezing the nose correctly
    • Large amount of blood has been lost
    • New skin bruises or bleeding gums not caused by an injury also present
    • High-risk child (such as with low platelets or other bleeding disorder)
    • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

    Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

    • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

    Call Doctor During Office Hours

    • Age less than 1 year old
    • New onset nosebleeds happen 3 or more times in a week
    • Hard-to-stop nosebleeds are a frequent problem
    • Easy bleeding is present in other family members
    • You have other questions or concerns

    Self Care at Home

    • Mild nosebleed

    Care Advice for Nosebleed

    1. What You Should Know About Nosebleeds:
      • Nosebleeds are common.
      • You should be able to stop the bleeding if you use the correct technique.
      • Here is some care advice that should help.
    2. Squeeze the Lower Nose:
      • Gently squeeze the soft parts of the lower nose together. Gently press them against the center wall for 10 minutes. This puts constant pressure on the bleeding point.
      • Use the thumb and index finger in a pinching manner.
      • If the bleeding continues, move your point of pressure.
      • Have your child sit up and breathe through the mouth during this procedure.
      • If rebleeds, use the same technique again.
    3. Put Gauze into the Nose:
      • If pressure alone fails, use a piece of gauze. Wet it with a few drops of water. Another option is to put a little petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) on it.
      • Insert the wet gauze into the side that is bleeding. Press again for 10 minutes. Reason it works: the gauze puts more pressure on the bleeding spot.
      • Special nose drops: if your child has lots of nose bleeds, buy some decongestant nose drops. An example is Afrin. No prescription is needed. Put 3 drops on the gauze and press. The nose drops also shrink the blood vessels in the nose.
      • Caution: don't use decongestant nose drops if your child is under 1 year of age.
      • If you don't have gauze, use a piece of paper towel.
      • Repeat the process of gently squeezing the lower soft parts of the nose. Do this for 10 minutes.
    4. Prevent Recurrent Nosebleeds:
      • If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier to keep the nose from drying out.
      • For nose blowing, blow gently.
      • For nose suctioning, don't put the suction tip very far inside. Also, move it gently.
      • Do not use aspirin and ibuprofen. Reason: Increases bleeding tendency.
      • Bleeding areas in the front of the nose sometimes develop a scab. It may heal slowly and re-bleed. If that happens to your child, try this tip. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to the spot. Repeat twice a day. Do not use for more than 1 week.
    5. What to Expect:
      • Over 99% of nosebleeds will stop if you press on the right spot.
      • It may take 10 minutes of direct pressure.
      • After swallowing blood from a nosebleed, your child may vomit a little blood.
      • Your child may also pass a dark stool tomorrow from swallowed blood.
    6. Call Your Doctor If:
      • Can't stop bleeding with 10 minutes of direct pressure done correctly
      • You think your child needs to be seen
      • Your child becomes worse

    And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

    Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

    Copyright 2000-2019 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

    First Aid - Nosebleed
    • Sit up and lean forward. This will keep the blood from running down the back of the throat.
    • Apply Pressure. Gently squeeze the lower soft parts of the nose against the center wall for 10-15 minutes. Use your thumb and your index finger in a pinching manner.
    • If the bleeding continues, move your point of pressure and repeat again for another 10-15 minutes.

    Special Notes: The goal is to apply continuous pressure to the bleeding point inside the nose.