Nosebleeds in children

What happens?

Image result for epistaxis

Some nosebleeds happen for no obvious reason. Nosebleeds are quite common in children as they engage in activities which pose a considerable amount of danger. They trip easily, get hit in the face during plays, or fall off a seesaw, and nosebleeds can occur from any of these.

The blood vessels in the nose are quite prone to injuries, such that even activities like nose-picking especially in dry weathers can cause them to bleed.

Infections can also cause nosebleeds. Using sprays or drops on the nose to treat allergies can also make the blood vessels even thinner and cause nosebleeds more easily.

Very rarely, nosebleeds are caused by a non-cancerous or cancerous growth, or even a bleeding problem.

What treatments work?

Most nosebleeds can be easily taken care of at home with these simple steps:

  • Calmly ask the child to sit down and lean forward (not backward). Lying down or holding the head back may cause blood to drip down the throat and cause more problems.
  • Gently squeeze the soft part of the nose, near the nostrils for about five minutes, then check whether the bleeding has stopped. If not, continue for another 10 minutes.
  • Take the child to hospital if the bleeding is heavy, doesn’t stop after 15 or 20 minutes, or was caused by an accident.

The doctor may use a spray to narrow the blood vessels, or dab the mixture on with cotton wool. If there is any obvious cause for the bleeding, it is treated.

If this still doesn’t work, the doctor may pack the nostril with cotton wool, or seal off the blood vessels using a chemical called silver nitrate. These can be uncomfortable.

What will happen?

Most nosebleeds don’t cause any serious problems, and more than 90% happen in children. As soon as one becomes a teenager, they stop having frequent nosebleeds.