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Nosebleed: Brief Version

What causes a nosebleed?

A nosebleed is caused by the inside of the nose being too dry plus the normal rubbing and picking a child does when his nose is blocked or itchy. Being hit in the nose can make it bleed. Even blowing the nose too hard can cause a nosebleed. It is very common for a child to have a nosebleed.

How can I take care of my child?

Here's how to stop the bleeding:

  • First, have your child blow his nose to free any large clots.
  • Then gently pinch the soft parts of the lower nose together for 10 minutes.
  • If it hasn't stopped after 10 minutes, put some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or water-based jelly (K-Y) on a piece of gauze.
  • Put the gauze into the nostril.
  • Squeeze again for another 10 minutes. If it still doesn't stop bleeding, call your child's doctor.

Here are some ideas to keep from getting nosebleeds:

  • Put a little petroleum jelly or K-Y on the inside of the nostrils 2 times a day.
  • Use a humidifier in your child's room at night.
  • Teach your child to put a few drops of warm water in each nostril before she blows her nose.
  • If your child has allergies that irritate his nose, ask your doctor what to use.
  • Don't let anyone smoke around your child.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick,” American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.3 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-22
Last reviewed: 2015-06-11
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD FAAP. All rights reserved.
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