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Going with the Flow of Nosebleeds

Most nosebleeds look worse than they are. In other words, nosebleeds are messy, a little uncomfortable, and sometimes even scary, but they are usually no big deal.

Kids can get nosebleeds once in a while or more often. The nosebleeds that are most common in kids usually occur near the front of the nose, on the wall separating the two sides of the nose (the septum), and usually start from just one nostril.

Sometimes nosebleeds start further back in the nose, but this is rare and occurs mostly in older people or those who have high blood pressure or injuries to their nose or face.

What Causes Nosebleeds?

Most nosebleeds occur when little blood vessels that line the inside of your nose break and bleed. These blood vessels are very fragile and lie very close to the surface, which makes them easy targets for injury.

Common reasons are:

  • nose picking or sticking something up the nose
  • a cold or allergy, especially with sneezing, coughing, and nose blowing
  • dry, heated, indoor air (often occurring during winter), which causes the inside of the nose to become cracked, crusted, and itchy

Less often, injuries to the outside of the nose, face, or head can cause nosebleeds. If this happens, you need to see a doctor right away. You can help prevent these types of nosebleeds by wearing protective gear, such as helmets for hockey, football, and baseball and any other sport or activity that requires them.

Sometimes nosebleeds may be due to a problem with the blood’s clotting system, but this is rare.

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