Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds

Lea este articuloNosebleeds are common in kids 3 to 10 years old, and most are caused by nose-picking or dry air. They can be scary, but are rarely cause for alarm. Most will stop on their own and can be easily managed at home.

What to Do:

First Aid Guide Nosebleeds Go

Call the Doctor if Your Child:

Seek Emergency Care or Call the Doctor if Bleeding:

Different Kinds of Nosebleeds

The most common kind of nosebleed is an anterior nosebleed, which comes from the front of the nose. Capillaries, or very small blood vessels, inside the nose may break and bleed, causing this type of nosebleed.

recurrent epistaxis illustration

A posterior nosebleed comes from the deepest part of the nose. Blood flows down the back of the throat even if the person is sitting or standing. Kids rarely have posterior nosebleeds, which happen more often in older adults, those with high blood pressure, and people who have had nose or face injuries.

Causes and Remedies

The chief cause of anterior nosebleeds is dry air. A dry climate or heated indoor air irritates and dries out nasal membranes, causing crusts that may itch and then bleed when scratched or picked. Common colds also can irritate the lining of the nose, with bleeding following repeated nose-blowing. Having a cold during dry winter weather is the perfect formula for nosebleeds.

Allergies also can cause problems, as doctors may prescribe medicine (such as antihistamines or decongestants) to control an itchy, runny, or stuffy nose. The medicine can dry out nasal membranes, leading to nosebleeds.

An injury or blow to the nose can cause bleeding, but most aren't a serious problem. But if your child has a facial injury that causes a bloody nose and you can't stop the bleeding after 10 minutes or have other concerns about the injury, get medical care right away.

While nosebleeds are rarely serious, there might be a problem if they happen a lot. If your child gets nosebleeds more than once a week, call your doctor. Usually, frequent nosebleeds are easily treated. Sometimes tiny blood vessels inside the nose are irritated and don't heal, which happens more often in kids with ongoing allergies or who get a lot of colds. A doctor might be able to help in these cases.

For bleeding not due to a sinus infection, allergies, or irritated blood vessels, a doctor may order tests to find the cause. Rarely, a bleeding disorder or abnormally formed blood vessels could be a possibility.

Tips for Preventing Nosebleeds

Since most nosebleeds in kids are caused by nose-picking or irritation from hot dry air, using a few simple tips may help your kids avoid them:

Even with proper precautions, kids can still get a bloody nose occasionally. So if your child gets a nosebleed, try not to panic. They're usually harmless and are almost always easy to stop.

Reviewed by: Anoop K. Palta, MD
Date reviewed: January 2015





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationNational Safety Council The National Safety Council offers information on first aid, CPR, environmental health, and safety.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Related Articles
Head Injuries Head injuries fall into two categories: external and internal. Learn more about both kinds, how to prevent them, and what to do if your child is injured.
Why Does My Child Get Nosebleeds? Find out what the experts have to say.
Babysitting: Dealing With Nosebleeds What should you do if a child you're babysitting has a nosebleed? Our tip sheet can help you be prepared.
First Aid: Nosebleeds Although they can be serious, nosebleeds are common in children ages 3 to 10 years and most stop on their own.
Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.
Going With the Flow of Nosebleeds Ever get a nosebleed? Lots of kids have had at least one. To learn more, follow your nose to this article for kids.
Nosebleeds Although nosebleeds are usually harmless and easily controlled, it may look like a gallon of blood is coming from your nose! Read this article to find out what causes nosebleeds and how to stop them.
Why Do I Get Nosebleeds Now That I'm Pregnant? Find out what the experts have to say.
All About Allergies Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter