How to Care for Your Child with Epistaxis (Nosebleed)

This leaflet will provide you with information about Epistaxis (Nosebleed) causes, treatment and home care advice.

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What is a Nosebleed?

Nosebleed or Epistaxis is very common in children. Most causes are not serious.

What are the causes of Nosebleed?

The leading causes of nosebleeds are:

  • Nose picking –when the air is dry, the mucous in their nose becomes crusty, and children tend to pick their noses
  • Dry air – this is common in dry weather                                                                               

How is Nosebleed treated?

Most Nosebleed can be easily treated at home.

  • Stay calm and comfort your child
  • Gently ask your child (if he is old enough) to blow his/her nose to get rid of some of the clots that have formed inside your child's nostrils. This may increase the bleeding temporarily, but that's OK.
  • Have your child sit up and lean forward to prevent blood going in the back of your child's throat that can make him/her vomit
  • Apply firm pressure (pinch) on the soft part of their nose for at least 10 minutes. Do not release the pressure so often to check whether the bleeding has stopped. The bleeding may not stop if you release the pressure too soon.
  • Ask your child to breathe through his/her mouth
  • After 10 minutes, check for bleeding.
  • If it is still bleeding, apply pressure for another 10 minutes.
  • If bleeding continues, apply pressure for further 10 minutes
  • Seek emergency medical care If you have applied pressure for a total of at least 30 minutes and the bleeding did not stop,
  • After the Nosebleed has stopped, ensure your child play quietly and do not pick or rub their nose for the next few hours

Home care advice

  • Ensure child's nails short to prevent nose picking
  • Try to increase the humidity in your home, or get a cool-mist humidifier for your child's room
  • Apply some moisture (like petroleum jelly) to your child's nose twice a day to keep the nose moist.
  • Encourage your child to do quieter activities for one to two days after Nosebleed
  • Advise your child to avoid lifting or straining for the next 2-3 days
  • Limit medicines like nasal sprays

When should I seek medical advice?

Seek medical advice if:

  • You have applied pressure for a total of at least 30 minutes, and the bleeding did not stop
  • Your child feels lightheaded or dizzy after a nosebleed
  • Your child is at risk because they have a medical condition