Q. Every winter, our son seems to have a lot of nosebleeds. Do you have any suggestions for preventing nosebleeds? Also, what is the best way to manage his nosebleeds when he gets them?
Nosebleeds in children are common, and the incidence of nosebleeds goes up during the winter months. There are several causes, including allergies, sinusitis, dry air and trauma such as nose-picking. Although rare, nosebleeds can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a bleeding disorder, tumor or polyp.
The best way to prevent nosebleeds is to treat the underlying cause. If a child has an increased number of nosebleeds during winter, then low humidity is most likely the problem. Some simple measures can be taken to prevent nosebleeds:
-- Place a cool mist humidifier in his bedroom
-- Coat the inside of his nostrils with saline gel or vaseline twice a day
-- Prevent him from picking his nose
-- Treat underlying allergies if this is a factor
When nosebleeds occur, it is important to remain calm and have him do the following:
-- Lean forward and gently blow any clots out of his nose
-- Apply pressure by pinching soft part of nose for 5-10 minutes
-- Avoid checking his nose to see if the bleeding has stopped until 5-10 minutes has passed
Call the pediatrician if the bleeding has not stopped after 10-15 minutes.
Most nosebleeds can be managed at home and do not warrant a visit to the doctor; however, if nosebleeds are associated with certain other symptoms, then an evaluation may be necessary. Some of these include easy bruising, bleeding gums, pallor, fatigue or nosebleeds that are increasing in frequency and becoming more difficult to stop.