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  • Bleeding from any part of the body is always a little frightening, especially if it's your child who’s experiencing it. Nosebleeds, however, are pretty common and are often nothing serious. Here's how you can deal with it and how you know it's time to see a doctor.

    Treating a child’s nosebleed
    Do not let your child tilt her head back to try and stop the bleeding. The blood can trickle down her throat and irritate the stomach and cause vomiting. If blood does gather in your child’s mouth, ask her to spit it out instead of swallowing it. 

    When her nose starts to bleed, have your child sit upright and lean forward. You can place a hand on her back and gently push her forward. This way you reduce the blood pressure in the veins of the nose, discouraging further bleeding. Don’t let your child lie down. A good rule is to keep the head higher than the level of the heart. 

    Then, pinch the soft part (below the bony part) of her nose shut with your thumb and index finger. Ask your child to breathe through her mouth while you do this. Stay in this position for five to 10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to peek if the bleeding has stopped. If it’s still bleeding, pinch for 10 minutes more.

    An ice pack over the nose will also help as the cold will constrict the blood vessels and help stop the bleeding. Don’t insert anything into the nose like cotton balls or tissue.

    When the bleeding stops, remind your child not to pick or blow her nose and to avoid bending down for several hours after the nosebleed. Have her rest for a while, too.  

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    When to worry
    Again, nosebleeds aren’t usually serious and most children experience them, especially between the ages of 2 and 10. However, they can also be a sign of a medical problem. These are the things to watch out for:

    • If the child is under 2 years of age
    • If the nosebleed lasts for more than 20 minutes
    • If the bleeding comes right after an injury like a fall or a serious blow to the head or nose
    • If the bleeding is heavy and there has been a lot of blood loss 
    • If the patient has swallowed a lot of blood and is vomiting
    • If the nosebleed accompanies other symptoms like bleeding gums or rashes; this can be sign of dengue

    Why it happens
    The nose has delicate blood vessels that get damaged and bleed relatively easy, especially when they’re dry or irritated. A small bump to the nose, or even the head, can already cause a nosebleed. Sudden temperature changes, from very hot to cold can also make them bleed. Picking your nose or blowing your nose too hard can cause bleeds, too. 

    How to prevent nosebleeds
    Keep your child’s fingernails short and discourage nose picking when you catch your child doing it. When your child’s nose is running, teach her how to properly blow her nose as well; not to hard and very gently. 

    Sources: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, NHS, What to Expect

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