Nosebleeds can be scary but usually causes no harm to children.
Children usually bleed from the superficial and thin blood vessels that can be seen at the front portion of the nose on the septum, just behind the nostrils.
The most common causes of nosebleeds are dryness of the nasal lining, nose-picking, allergies, colds and injuries. Rarely, they are due to bleeding disorders or tumours. Nose-picking may also increase the frequency of nosebleeds.
The dryness of the nasal lining can also be triggered through frequent exposure to air-conditioning, which increases the risk of nosebleed.
Nosebleed from the thin, superficial blood vessels may last till puberty. After puberty, nosebleeds usually decrease as the nose lining thickens from hormonal changes.
It is not likely to be of serious concern if your child’s nose bleeds is only once in every few months. However if it happens regularly, for example, four to five times a month, your child should be reviewed by a specialist to rule out any of the rarer causes, especially if your child is not sleeping in an air-conditioned room.
When your child’s nose bleeds, ask him to sit up, lean forward and pinch the lower soft portion of the nostrils together for five to ten minutes, while breathing through his mouth. (Figure 2). An ice pack can be laid across the nose bridge and the forehead or on the cheek to allow for reflex constriction of the tiny blood vessels.
The majority of the nose bleeding should stop during this time. If it restarts, compression can be applied again for another 10 minutes. The idea is to keep the heart lower than the nose so blood flows back to the heart and not to the bleeding area.