Understanding Nosebleeds in Children and How to Treat Them


The first time you see blood coming out of your child’s nose, it can be quite shocking, especially if you have no idea as to why it’s even happening. There are various causes which could be responsible and if it is severe enough, you may also have to take your child to an urgency room to treat the nosebleed. The good news is that most causes responsible for nosebleeds are not really threatening, but you still need to get it checked out nevertheless. To understand the certain important aspects of nosebleeds in children and how to counteract them effectively, parents should find the following points useful.

The Two Types

Nosebleeds usually belong to two types, as detailed below.

  1. Anterior nosebleed – Generally the result of a ruptured capillary in the frontal (aka the anterior) portion of the nose, these account for most nosebleeds when it comes to children.
  2. Posterior nosebleed – When the damage and the blood originates from the back (aka the posterior) of the nose, things could be more serious as they are not common in children unless he/she is injured.

What Causes Nosebleeds?

The causes of nosebleeds range from being harmless to complex health problems, but only a doctor can tell for sure after conducting the necessary tests. However, knowing the common reasons may help to put your mind at ease.

Dry Climates

Dry air can dehydrate, irritate and damage the membranes in our nose, causing them to bleed. In the case of children, it’s the most common cause for nosebleeds and is nothing to be worried about too much.

Nose Picking

Picking or scratching inside the nose may lead to cuts, which may irritate the membrane, causing nosebleeds.

Colds, and Sinusitis

If the child has a cold, a sinus infection or just some plain allergies, nosebleeds are neither uncommon nor something that you should worry yourself over too much.

Skin Infection

Unlike sinusitis, bacterial skin infections affect the inner skin of the child’s nose directly, leading to crusted areas, sores and general redness.

Trauma and injury

The nose is a sensitive area and even the lightest of traumas in the region could start a nosebleed.

Blood Clots and Malformed Blood Vessels

Although rare, blood clots and deformed blood vessels in the nasal cavity can lead to nosebleeds as well.

How to Treat a Nosebleed

The following procedures are emergency methods to ensure that the bleeding stops temporarily, but in order to rightly diagnose the underlying problem, a visit to a hospital, urgency room or pediatrician is always recommended.

Step 1 – Have the child sit and tilt his head forward slightly instead of tilting it back, even though that may seem like the most logical thing to do. Tilting the head back will not stop the bleeding, but will instead force the blood into his mouth and throat.

Step 2 – Tell your child to breathe through his mouth while putting ice on the bridge of the nose. Now pinch the part of the nose just below the bridge (the soft part).

Step 3 – Hold it like that for roughly 10 – 15 minutes before letting go.

Step 4 – Apply ice again and repeat if it starts bleeding again.

Nosebleeds are quite common in children and sometimes even in adults, especially in drier climates. However, if nosebleeds are a frequent occurrence for a child, it is probably a good idea to consult a medical practitioner as soon as possible.