Nosebleeds are very common in children and are rarely cause for concern.  

Common causes of nosebleeds are:

  • Trauma to the nose caused by a bump or fall
  • Dry air irritating the blood vessels
  • An infection in the nose throat or sinuses
  • Straining too hard on the toilet
  • Blowing your nose to hard
  • Picking your nose
  • Pushing an object up your nose
  • Hay fever or allergies

I remember being told as a child to tilt my head back when I had a nosebleed, and this is still a common misconception in the treatment of nosebleeds.  Holding your head back is a classic example of what not to do!

Instead, follow these few steps below:

  • Seat the casualty and have them tip their head slightly forward
  • Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the nose just below the bony ridge
  • Continue to apply the pressure to the nose for 10 minutes
  • Reassure the casualty (the sight of blood can be quite upsetting for some people, especially children!)
  • Encourage the casualty to spit out any blood (swallowing blood can lead to nausea and vomiting)
  • A cold compress may be placed on the casualty’s forehead and at the base of their neck
  • After 10 minutes, remove the thumb and forefinger pressure and check if the bleeding has stopped

When to seek medical attention:

  • The nosebleed has lasted more than 20 minutes
  • The casualty is on blood thinning medication and the bleeding won’t stop
  • Nosebleeds are reoccurring or frequent
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