Nose Bleeding in Children

Seeing blood gushing from your child's nose may seem serious, but in actual fact, in most cases, it is nothing to worry about, and will usually stop on its own without the need to visit the doctor. If the nose bleed does not stop, or is a result of injury or trauma, then a visit to the pediatrician is advisable, or at least call them for advice.

Causes of Nose Bleeding in Children

Numerous occurrences can cause a child's nose to bleed, most of which are not serious. These occurrences include:

  • Colds and allergies. Both colds and allergies can cause irritation and swelling of the nasal passages, which can lead to extemporaneous bleeding.
  • Trauma. Even slight trauma, such as picking one's nose, or blowing it too hard, can cause a child's nose to bleed.
  • Low humidity. In low humidity areas, a child's nose may become dry, increasing the likelihood of nose bleeds.
  • Irritating fumes. Frequent exposure to toxic fumes can cause a child's nose to bleed spontaneously.
  • Anatomical issues. An abnormal structure within one's nose can cause crusting and bleeding.
  • Anomalous growths. The anomalous growths, such as polyps which are benign, can cause bleeding on occasions. Although these growths are often non-cancerous, they should still be promptly treated.
  • Anomalous clotting of blood. Many things can interfere with the clotting of blood within one's body, which may be a cause for nose bleeding in your children.
  • Medical conditions. If your child has a long-term illness which requires them to take medication which can affect the lining of their nose, causing it to dry, then they are likely to experience nose bleeds. Some certain blood diseases like hemophilia can also lead to it.

Stopping Nose Bleeding in Children

Nose bleeds can be distressing for children, so one should first reassure their child that everything is going to be ok. To help stop the bleeding, you can try the following:

  1. Sit your child on your lap and tilt their head forward slightly.
  2. Squeeze the lower nose and press the nostrils together, you can use your fingers, a tissue, or cloth.
  3. Hold the nose closed for ten minutes, to allow the blood to clot. Do not remove your grip from the nose during the ten minutes. If your child is old enough, they can do this process on their own.
  4. Placing a wet, cool cloth on the bridge of the nose may also prove beneficial.
  5. Consuming a cold drink or ice-lolly can help to eradicate the taste of blood and cool your child down.
  6. Ensure any blood that passes into the mouth must be spat out as opposed to swallowed, as the latter may cause vomiting and further exacerbate the nose bleed.
  7. Try to make sure your child does not pick or blow their nose for 24 hours, and avoid running around/playing for a couple of hours at least, all of which can cause recurrent nose bleeding in children.

If the above method does not work to stop the bleeding, then medical treatment may be needed.

First, the doctor will try to find a bleeding blood vessel by looking into your child's nose with a specialized light. He or she may then proceed to apply a cream or ointment to slow the flow of blood, using a chemical called Cautery, to freeze/burn the bleeding blood vessel (and stop the bleeding), or using a gauze/dressing to pack the nose and prevent bleeding. This gauze should remain in place for around 1-2 days, after which a follow-up with the doctor is required to have the gauze removed. If the gauze falls out by itself and the bleeding has stopped, a follow-up visit is not required.

If bleeding was severe, a blood test may be required to determine how much blood was lost. A referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist may be need.

You may be advised to give your child special ointment with antibiotics if any infection occurs. If their nose is dry, then you may be advised to apply petroleum gel/ointment to combat this.

Should You Worry About It?

In most cases, nose bleeds are nothing to worry about, as mentioned above Even if it seems as though your child has lost a lot of blood, it is rarely enough to be any cause for concern. In some cases, you child's nose may bleed at night, meaning that they wake up with blood on their pillow, in such an instance; there is still no need to worry. Unless your child seems very ill, one can wait until the morning to do medical examination. Try to avoid them swallow blood during a nose bleed, which can cause them to vomit and/or cough up blood.

There are essentially only two occasions when one should seek immediate medical attention:

  • ŸIf your child has a nose bleed and serious headache;
  • ŸOr if there are various areas where bleeding is occurring (nose, gums, urine, and stool). 

What If There Is Recurring Nose Bleeding in Children?

Recurring nose bleeding in kids is also very common, and can be combated with the following treatments:

  • Moisturizing. Ensure their nose is lubricated via the use of nasal saline mist (sprayed into the nostrils 2-3 times per day), Vaseline (gently rubbed into the nose), antibiotic ointment (can be purchased over-the-counter), lanolin ointment, or a vaporizer (to moisten the air).
  • Cauterizing. Done by an ENT specialist, the blood vessels are cauterized to stop bleeding. 
 
 
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