What to Do When Your Child’s Nose Is Bleeding?
Think of the “two Cs”: calmness and compression. Most nosebleeds are sudden and happen in fairly young children, who are frightened to have blood coming from their noses. Fortunately, most are also self-limited and stop after a few moments. The blood lost is usually minimal, though it looks like much more as it soaks a tissue.
To compress a bleeding nose, the first step is to have the child sit or stand. The head should not be tilted back as that allows blood to drip back into the throat, where it can be swallowed or gagged on. With a cold cloth or fingers, put light but steady pressure on the front part of the nose for five to ten minutes. Resist the temptation to check for continued bleeding after a few minutes, since it takes longer for some vessels to stop.
If after a full ten minutes the bleeding continues, repeat the compression and call a health care provider. Nothing should be put into the nose; steady pressure from the outside is the best strategy.
Although this rarely occurs with typical nosebleeds, worrisome signs that would merit immediate medical attention are a pale, sweaty or unresponsive child, one who vomits blood or who has suffered serious trauma to the nose or face.
This information is meant as a helpful, but general guide. It is best to bring frequent or worrisome nosebleeds to the attention of your child’s physician.