Nosebleed Dos and Don'ts: Counseling Points for Parents

November 23rd 2015
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor

If a child is experiencing repeated nosebleeds, chances are that his or her parents will eventually visit a retail clinic to seek relief.

The winter season often means more nosebleeds due to the dry, cold air, which can cause the lining of the nose to crack and bleed.

If a child is experiencing repeated nosebleeds, chances are that his or her parents will eventually visit a retail clinic to seek relief.

Retail clinicians faced with concerned parents can help debunk the many misconceptions about how to treat nosebleeds.

The following is a list of dos and don’ts that parentsshould be made aware of:

Dostay calm.

Nosebleeds are not abnormal and are not usually dangerous, especially for young children.

They can be caused by relatively minor ailments such as a cold or allergies, as the inner-nose swelling and irritation associated with both conditions could lead to spontaneous bleeding.

Parents should be aware of the harmless environmental factors that could also contribute to a child’s propensity to have nosebleeds, including living in a dry climate or nose picking.

And so it follows…Do notpanic.

The Cleveland Clinic lists “relaxing” as the first step for stopping a nosebleed.

Panicking is generally unproductive and may actually do more harm than good. Further alarming a child while his or her nose is bleeding, which is an alarming event on its own, will only compound the problem.

Parents should instead reassure their children that nosebleeds are generally not serious and often stop on their own.

Dopinch the lower half of the child’s nose

The lower half of the nose should be held between the thumb and finger for an entire 10 minutes. Older children who can stay calm can do this themselves under adult supervision.

Stopping too soon may cause the bleeding to start again, but if the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 10 minutes, then parents should call their pediatrician and arrange to go to the emergency room (ER) as a precaution.

Do nothave children lie down or tilt their head back.

Keep the child standing upright with the head tilted a bit forward. Parents can ask their older children to gently blow their nose to expel some of the blood.

Having children lie down or tilt their head back increases the chances of blood flowing down from the back of the nose into the mouth and throat, which may alarm them and also cause vomiting.

Do notstuff the nose with tissue, gauze, or any other material.

An ER doctor or retail clinician may pack a child’s nose with gauze or tissue during a nosebleed; however, it is not advisable for parents to do this themselves.

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