First Aid: Nosebleeds

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Parents

First AidAlthough they can be scary, nosebleeds are common in children and usually aren't serious. Most stop on their own and can be treated safely at home. Nosebleeds occur more often in winter and when the air is dry.

What to Do

  • Have your child sit up with his or her head tilted slightly forward. Do not have the child lean back (this may cause gagging, coughing, or vomiting).
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose (just below the bony part) for at least 10 minutes.

Seek Medical Care

If Your Child:

  • has nosebleeds often
  • may have put something in the nose
  • tends to bruise easily or has heavy bleeding from minor wounds
  • recently started a new medication

Seek Emergency Medical Care

If Bleeding:

  • is heavy
  • is accompanied by dizziness or paleness
  • continues after two or three times of applying pressure for 10 minutes each
  • is the result of a blow to the head or a fall

Think Prevention!

To help prevent dryness in the nose, use saline (saltwater) nasal spray or drops (or put petroleum jelly on the inside edges of the nostrils), and use a humidifier in your child's bedroom. Discourage nose picking and keep kids' fingernails short.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014



Related Resources

OrganizationAAP Pediatric Referral Department Use this website to find a pediatrician in your area or to find general health information for parents from birth through age 21.
Web SiteChildren's Safety Network Made up of several resource centers funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Children's Safety Network works to reduce injuries and prevent violence for children and adolescents.


Related Articles

Why Do I Get Nosebleeds Now That I'm Pregnant? Find out what the experts have to say.
First Aid: Falls Although most result in mild bumps and bruises, some falls can cause serious injuries that need medical attention.
First Aid: Head Injuries Learn about the different types of head injuries, and find out what to do if your child is seriously injuried.
Hemophilia Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder that prevents the blood from clotting properly. Treatment advances mean that most kids who have it can lead full, healthy lives with careful management of their condition.
Why Does My Child Get Nosebleeds? Find out what the experts have to say.
Nosebleeds A nosebleed can be scary, but it's rarely cause for alarm. Here's how to handle one at home.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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