If you stepped outside today you probably noticed that your face hurt from the cold front that moved its way in. When it is cold and dry outside a common thing we start seeing is nosebleeds… So let’s talk about them.
Nosebleeds can be a common occurrence in children, especially those that are prone to sticking their finger up their nose. Nosebleeds while a pain to clean and bit scary looking, typically do not need to cause you concern.
Why do nosebleeds occur? The inside of the nostril has tons of blood vessels and the tissue is very fragile. This frailness makes it prone to crack and bleed in the presence of dryness and nasal inflammation (i.e. nasal congestion either from a virus or allergies). Dryness can either be from cold or warm air but more common during the winter months. However, the most common reason nosebleeds occur is from a child picking their nose.
How do you stop a nosebleed? Pinch your child’s nose right below the bony ridge and have them either sit or stand and lean slightly forward. Continue to pinch for 5-10 minutes. Do not check prior to 5 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, repeat for an additional 5-10 minutes. If it has not stopped after 20 minutes, continue hold pressure but its time to get checked out by a doctor.
What can you do to prevent a nosebleed? Most importantly, try to determine the trigger.
-Allergies: Be consistent with your child’s allergy regimen. If you are consistent and the symptoms are persisting, schedule an appointment with either us or their allergist to see if we are able to get better control
-Picking their nose: Try to give them something else to do with their hands and be sure to keep your child’s nails clipped
-Nasal congestion: Run the humidifier. Nasal saline spray
-Nasal dryness: Nasal saline spray/gel or Vaseline/Aquaphor. Spray/apply intermittently throughout the day
What makes us concerned in regards to nosebleeds (AKA what we want you calling for)? First and foremost, if there are other symptoms associated with the nosebleeds including fever, bruising, easy bleeding, weight loss, or rash. Second, nosebleeds are happening multiple times a week despite intervention or are increasing in frequency. Third, nosebleeds are only occurring from one side. Fourth, nosebleeds are not resolving after 15-20 minutes of applying pressure. Fifth, anything that makes your parent spidey senses go off—that’s what we are here for!