Nosebleeds (also known as epistaxis) can happen to just about anyone for any number of reasons, but it may seem that nosebleeds in kids are a bit more common. To understand why nosebleeds happen and what you can do to provide relief or prevent them in the future, keep reading!
What causes nosebleeds
As stated, there are a number of reasons children get nosebleeds. Generally speaking, nosebleeds come from the front part of the nose where there is a plexus of blood vessels. This is because the nasal lining there is very thin, and the vessels can easily break open and bleed. Some of the common reasons this might happen include dryness of the lining of the nose, allergies, infections of the mucous membrane, picking at the nose, or trauma to the nose (such as being hit in the nose). On other rare occasions, nosebleeds may come from the blood vessels in the very back of the nose. These situations are much more serious.
At-home nosebleed treatment
If you’re in the midst of dealing with a nosebleed, don’t panic! There are ways to take care of the situation calmly and safely from the comfort of your own home (more often than not); start by following these steps:
- If a child is the one with the nosebleed, assess the cause of the situation if it is not immediately obvious, and then assure the child that there is no reason to be scared or upset. This is extremely important because excessive agitation and crying can lead to greater blood flow.
- The person with the nosebleed should be made to sit up straight with his or head tilted slightly forward.
- Using your finger and thumb, apply gentle pressure to the soft part of the nostrils, just below the bridge of the nose for at least 10 minutes.
- Make sure the person with nosebleed breathes through his or her mouth as long as their nostrils are pinched shut. You should also make sure that breathing isn’t further inhibited by tight fitting clothing (especially if it’s tight around the neck).
- During this 10 minute process, you should apply one cold pack or cloth over the person’s forehead and another around the sides of the neck.
- Once the 10 minutes have passed, release the pressure on the nostrils, and check to see if the bleeding has stopped.
After you’ve finished this at-home treatment, and it is found that the bleeding has not stopped, the person with the nosebleed should seek medical treatment.
Regardless, after the bleeding as subsited, the blood will clot within the nasal cavity. It’s important to remind this person to resist the urge to get rid of the blood clot by forceful sniffing, nose blowing, or picking at his or her nose for the rest of the day. Failure to resist this urge will further irritate the nose and can restart the bleeding.
Understanding the causes of nosebleeds (stated above) is paramount for understanding how to prevent them. The first and most obvious prevention techniques include avoiding trauma to the nose as well as picking at or rubbing the nose, especially if nosebleeds are a common occurrence.
Another important prevention technique is to keep the nose moisturized to prevent dry nose irritation or problems. We recommend applying Pure Baby to the nostrils daily by way of cotton swab. (As a bonus, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, which will give your nose an added layer of protection against harmful microorganisms that could further irritate the nose.)
If your child commonly gets nosebleeds or has a nosebleed that is hard to stop, you should consider seeking medical help. Your doctor will be able to do a physical examination to determine where the blood is coming from in the nose and can check for bleeding or blood clotting disorders.