Nosebleed in children

Contributed by : Ravina Sewani   
Nosebleed in children

When your child suddenly has blood running down from their nose, it can be startling. While nosebleeds in children seem dramatic, they’re not usually serious.

When your child suddenly has blood running down from their nose, it can be startling. While nosebleeds in children seem dramatic, they’re not usually serious. Nosebleed is caused by the rupturing of tiny blood vessels inside the nose, known as capillaries.

There are a few common culprits behind a child’s bloody nose:

  • Dry air: Dry air irritates and dehydrates nasal membranes.
  • Scratching or picking: Irritating the nose by scratching or picking can expose blood vessels that are prone to bleeding.
  • Trauma: When a child gets an injury to the nose, it can start a nosebleed. Most aren’t a problem, but you should seek medical care if you’re unable to stop the bleeding after 10 minutes.
  • Cold, allergies, or sinus infection: Any illness that includes symptoms of nasal congestion and irritation can cause nosebleeds.
  • Bacterial infection: Bacterial infections can cause sore, red areas on the skin inside the nose and in the front of the nostrils. These infections can lead to bleeding.
  • In rare cases, frequent nosebleeds are caused by problems relating to blood clotting or abnormal blood vessels. If your child experiences nosebleeds that aren’t related to the causes above, raise your concerns with your child’s doctor.


Make your child sit on a chair. Follow these steps to stop a nosebleed:

  • Keep them upright and gently tilt their head forward slightly. Leaning their head back could cause blood to run down their throat. It will taste bad, and it can make your child cough, gag, or even vomit.
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose below the nasal bridge. Have your child breathe through their mouth while you do this.
  • Try to maintain pressure for about 10 minutes.
  • You can also apply ice to the bridge of the nose, which may reduce blood flow.
  • Make your child rest or play quietly after a nosebleed. Encourage them to avoid blowing their nose or rubbing it too hard. Knowing how to slow and stop a nosebleed is a useful skill for any parent.

Treating frequent nosebleeds:

While some children will only have one or two nosebleeds over a span of years, others seem to get them much more frequently. This can happen when the lining of the nose becomes overly irritated, exposing blood vessels that bleed at even the smallest instigation. If your child has frequent nosebleeds, make a point to moisturise the lining of the nose. For moisturising the lining of the nose, consult your child’s doctor. You child’s doctor may recommend using:

  • A nasal saline mist sprayed into the nostrils a few times a day
  • Rubbing an emollient like Vaseline just inside the nostrils on a cotton bud or finger
  • A vaporiser in your child’s bedroom to add moisture to the air

Call your doctor if:

  • Your child’s nosebleed is the result of something they inserted into their nose
  • They recently started taking new medicine
  • They have severe bruising all over their body
  • You should also contact your doctor immediately if your child’s nosebleed is still bleeding heavily after two attempts at 10 minutes of continuous pressure. You’ll likely need to seek medical care if your child is complaining of headache, or feeling weak or dizzy.


  • 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:
  • Keep your child's nails short.
  • Keep the inside of your child's nose moist.
  • Make sure your kids wear protective gear during sports.

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