How to Treat and Prevent Nosebleeds

The scurry of little feet running to grab a tissue leaving a trail of little blood drops is a common occurrence in most households. Usually, nosebleeds are a minor issue and resolve quickly at home though seeing blood come out of your child’s nose can be scary.

Most nosebleeds, called epistaxis in the medical world, occur when a blood vessel in the nose’s soft cartilage leaks. The most important thing to know is how to manage them at home.

Nosebleed self-care:

  • Nod head forward.  This is counterintuitive, but it will prevent blood from going down the back of the throat.
  • Place your thumb on one side of the nose and your forefinger on the other side, up near the bridge, between the eyes. Slowly slide them down to the sudden “drop off” where the bones give way to cartilage.
  • Pinch your thumb and forefinger together, and hold.
  • If the bleeding slows or stops, you are pinching in the right place. If the bleeding does not stop with pinching, start over, and pinch lower or higher,
  • Hold the pinch for a minimum of five to ten minutes before you release. You may need to repeat this again.

nose bleed nose bleed backwards

Lean head forward, not backward. This will prevent blood from going down the back of the throat.

How do I know if a nosebleed is serious?

  • Will not stop even after you do the “self-care” steps listed below
  • Your child’s nosebleed is making it hard for them to breathe
  • It causes your child to turn very pale, or makes them feel tired or confused
  • Happens right after nose surgery
  • Happens after a serious face injury
  • Will not stop, and your child takes medicines that prevent blood clots

What causes frequent nosebleeds?

  • Frequent colds
  • Nose picking
  • Breathing dry air all the time

What can I do to prevent my child from getting nosebleeds?

  • Use a humidifier (a machine that makes the air less dry) in his or her bedroom
  • Keep the inside of your nose moist with a nasal saline spray or gel
  • And of course our favorite: No nose picking! Or at least clip your kid’s nails to avoid injury