Nosebleeds in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

How to stop a nosebleed

Nosebleeds are common, especially with colds or allergies. Many things can cause a nosebleed.

Some nosebleeds stop on their own with pressure, others need packing, and some get cauterized (sealed). If your child has gauze or other packing materials in his or her nose, you will need to follow up with the doctor to have the packing removed. Your child may need more treatment if he or she gets nosebleeds a lot.

The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If your child gets another nosebleed:
    • Have your child sit up and tilt his or her head slightly forward to keep blood from going down the throat.
    • Use your thumb and index finger to pinch the nose shut for 10 minutes. Use a clock. Do not check to see if the bleeding has stopped before the 10 minutes are up. If the bleeding has not stopped, pinch the nose shut for another 10 minutes.
    • When the bleeding has stopped, tell your child not to pick, rub, or blow his or her nose for 12 hours to keep it from bleeding again.
  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.

To prevent nosebleeds

  • Teach your child not to blow his or her nose too hard.
  • Make sure that your child avoids lifting or straining after a nosebleed.
  • Raise your child's head on a pillow when he or she is sleeping.
  • Put a thin layer of a saline- or water-based nasal gel, such as NasoGel, inside your child's nose. Put it on the septum, which divides the nostrils. This will prevent dryness that can cause nosebleeds.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to your child's bedroom. Follow the directions for cleaning the machine.
  • Talk to your doctor about stopping any other medicines your child is taking. Some medicines may make your child more likely to get a nosebleed.
  • Do not give cold medicines or nasal sprays without first talking to your doctor. They can make your child's nose dry.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child gets another nosebleed and it is still bleeding after pressure has been applied 3 times for 10 minutes each time (30 minutes total).
  • There is a lot of blood running down the back of your child's throat even after pinching the nose and tilting the head forward.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has sinus pain.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child gets frequent nosebleeds, even if they stop.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: May 27, 2016