How to Handle Your Child’s Nosebleeds

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Colds and indoor allergies can irritate the nostril and lead to bleeding, and the dry air from indoor heat can cause drying, cracking, and crusting inside the nose. In most cases, nosebleeds are nothing to worry about, though the sight and taste of blood (if it drips down from the back of the nose into the mouth and throat) can frighten a child.

If your child has a nosebleed, take the following steps:

  1. Have him sit up and lean forward to avoid swallowing blood.
  2. Pinch the nostrils together for 5 to 10 minutes (resist the temptation to look inside to see if bleeding has stopped).
  3. Apply ice or a cold, wet washcloth to the bridge of the nose.

If the bleeding continues, call your doctor. Head to the emergency room if the nosebleed occurs after any trauma to the head, there is a large amount of blood loss, your child feels faint or a foreign object is lodged in their nose.

During the winter months, or year-round if you live in a dry climate, use a cool mist humidifier in your child's room at night to prevent nosebleeds (be sure to follow instructions cleaning the humidifier so that germs and mold do not grow in it). Also, teach your child to gently dab at the nose instead of blowing it forcefully when he has a cold or allergies. Using a nasal spray or applying a dab of petroleum jelly inside the nostrils a few times during the day and at bedtime can also keep the membranes moist and stave off nosebleeds. 

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