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Why do children get them and what can be done to prevent them?
Evangelia Zonnios

Some children appear to be prone to nosebleeds, but there are methods to help reduce their frequency and even stop them from happening at all.

During certain months children can be more susceptible to nosebleeds. This is due to the dry atmosphere aggravating the symptoms that cause them. Dry air is one of the highest contributors to a child’s nosebleed problem.

There are two types of nosebleeds: anterior and posterior. The less severe bleed is the Anterior. It starts at the front, lower area of the nose. The more serious nose bleed is the Posterior, which runs from high up the back of the nose and down the throat. This nosebleed can require medical attention, so it is important to determine which type of nosebleed your child is experiencing.

More often than not a child’s nosebleed is the less-severe case (anterior). This type of nosebleed can be distinguished if the child is in an upright position and blood is coming from the front of the nose, on one side only, and is not going down the throat.

The latter of the two (posterior) is more frequent in older people or those with high blood pressure. It can also occur in children, but mainly when they have been overexerting themselves or received a blow to the face through play or sports.

As the lower half of the nose has many blood vessels that are very close to the surface of the skin, it can therefore be easily broken by blowing the nose too hard or by picking the nose.

When a child is prone to nose bleeds you can prevent them by using some or all of these simple procedures. Apply the methods described below for five days, and the frequency of your child's nosebleeds should drop significantly.

  • Keep the air moist at night by using a humidifier in the child’s bedroom.
  • Apply Vaseline by smearing a small amount of it with a cotton bud or finger inside the nose - especially near the soft bone in the middle that separates the two nostrils.
  • If treating a child that has recently had a lot of nosebleeds, the nostrils may be swollen, making it hard to breathe. Until the nosebleeds settle down, use a decongestant to help open the nasal passages.
  • Use a salt water-based nasal spray several times a day. This will keep the nostrils moist leaving the child less at risk.
To stop a nosebleed, sit the child up or lay them back in an upright position. Calm the child down to slow the blood circulation and keep them in a position where their head is higher than their heart. Press the nostrils closed at the opening using your thumb and forefinger and press toward the face. Hold this position for five minutes. Applying ice around the nose and cheek areas will help the bleeding subside quicker.

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