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  • If Your Toddler Has a Nosebleed, Do Not Stuff His Nose With Tissue

    When your child experiences a nosebleed, the first thing to do is stay calm.
    by Kate Borbon .
If Your Toddler Has a Nosebleed, Do Not Stuff His Nose With Tissue
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Nosebleeds are a common occurrence in kids between the ages 3 and 10 years, says Kids Health. While nosebleeds don’t usually signify serious conditions, some parents may still feel anxious when they occur and be unsure of what to do when their children experience these.

    Below, learn more about nosebleeds, what to do when your child experiences it, and how you can prevent it from happening again.

    Types and causes of nosebleeds

    According to Kids Health, there are two types of nosebleeds. The first and most common is the anterior nosebleed, which comes from the front of the nose. It usually happens when tiny blood vessels called capillaries in the nose break.

    The second type is the posterior nosebleed, which comes from the deepest part of the nose. When someone experiences this type of nosebleed, his blood flows down the back of his throat no matter if he is sitting or standing. Kids Health writes that this type of nosebleed rarely happens in children. It typically occurs in older adults with high blood pressure and people with injuries in their face or nose.

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    Nosebleeds can be caused by a variety of factors, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Colds and allergies can trigger irritation and swelling inside a child’s nose. Nosebleeds can also happen when a child picks his nose too hard, forces an object into it, or sneezes too hard. A dry climate or heated indoor air can dry out a child’s nasal membranes and cause crusts that bleed when scratched or picked.

    Other causes of nosebleeds, according to the AAP, include abnormal structures or tissue growth inside the nose and chronic illnesses which require medication that can affect the nose lining.

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    What to do if your child gets a nosebleed

    Any parent will understandably feel worried when their child’s nose begins to bleed out of nowhere and immediately think that they need to call their pediatrician for help. However, that is not always necessary. Instead, simply taking a moment to rest and assume the right body position can help put an end to the bleeding.

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    Stay calm

    One of the most important things experts encourage to do when their child has a nosebleed is to stay calm. As the AAP writes, your child will likely pick up on the way you react to the situation. Again, nosebleeds will stop after a few minutes if your child has not been injured or suffering from the above-mentioned causes.

    Put your child in the right position

    The right position means having your child sitting or standing and leaning slightly forward. Experts discourage having a child experiencing a nosebleed lie down or lean back since this will only cause blood to flow down his throat, which will then make the child vomit.

    Apply pressure on your child’s nose

    Pinch the soft part (the lower half) of your child’s nose firmly and keep the pressure there for 10 minutes. You may use a tissue or a clean washcloth if you have one; otherwise, you may use your fingers. Kids Health emphasizes making sure pressure is applied for that specific amount of time since stopping too soon can cause the bleeding to resume. The AAP also says keep your focus on applying the pressure, rather than checking if the bleeding has stopped.

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    After 10 minutes, if the bleeding hasn’t stopped, apply pressure on your child’s nose again. However, if the bleeding persists, it may be time to call your pediatrician or take your child to the hospital.

    One more important reminder is to avoid stuffing objects like tissues or gauze into your child’s nose. According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, those objects will only stick to your child’s blood clot and cause the wound to reopen when removed later on.

    Encourage your child to rest

    As much as your child would like to go back to playing or running around after his nosebleed stops, experts recommend having him refrain from engaging in rough play or even blowing, picking, or rubbing his nose for a short while. You don’t want to expose him to the possibility of another nosebleed.

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    How to prevent nosebleeds

    Some of the most common causes of nosebleeds, such as dry air, objects being put inside the nose, and picking the nose, can be remedied by taking precautionary measures at home. If your toddler enjoys picking his nose or if you have dry air at home, here are some tips you can consider to avoid nosebleeds in your household.

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    Consider placing a humidifier inside your home

    Dry climate or air inside the house is one common cause of nosebleeds. A cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer can help keep the humidity level in your home high enough so that your child’s nasal passages do not dry up. Remember to clean your humidifier every day to avoid build-up of mildew and bacteria.

    Trim your child’s nails

    It may seem weird to adults, but young children appear to enjoy picking at their noses and even forcing things into their noses. One way to prevent your child from inadvertently injuring himself when he picks his nose is by keeping his nails short. It can also be helpful to supervise your child while he is playing so you are aware of what he puts in his nose or his mouth.

    Ask your pediatrician about nasal sprays

    Saline or salt water nasal sprays can also be useful in preventing your child’s nasal passages from drying up, especially if you have dry air inside your home. But before you buy nasal sprays, particularly medicated ones, make sure to consult your pediatrician first. The AAP notes that some medications can increase nasal congestion after a few days. This congestion can then become much more uncomfortable for your child and considerably more challenging to treat.

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    Encourage him to wear protective gear

    This is especially important for children who engage in sports or physically demanding activities that can cause nose injuries to children. Before you let him start playing, ensure that he is wearing the athletic gear, he needs to keep his body shielded from whatever kind of impact or trauma.

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    When to call your pediatrician

    While nosebleeds are common in toddlers, it is also abnormal for a child to experience nosebleeds often. If any of the following events occur in your child, the AAP advises calling your pediatrician immediately:

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    • If you think your child has lost too much blood
    • If the bleeding comes from your child’s mouth or if he coughs or vomits blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds
    • If your child looks unusually sweaty or pale or if he is unresponsive
    • If he experiences nosebleeds often (which may be a sign that he has a small, easily-broken blood vessel in his nose or the surface of his nasal lining, or a certain growth in his nasal passage)

    Kids Health also cites different incidents that might require immediate medical attention, such as if you think your child has put something in his nose, if he tends to bruise easily, if he has only recently started taking new medication, if his nosebleed is heavy and accompanied by weakness or dizziness, or if it is the result of a fall or a blow to the head.

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