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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 B.D. Schmitt, MD, author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-22
Last reviewed: 2010-06-02

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 health care professional.

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