Advice about Nose Bleeds

Archived Q&A and Reviews

2.5-year-old's frequent nosebleeds after trauma

Sept 2004

My 2.5 yo daughter was whacked on the nose by her cousin with one of those lollypop drums about a month ago. It bled a fair bit, her first nosebleed ever, but it didn't hurt her that much, and there was no bruising etc. of the nose. Since then, she has had about one nosebleed a week. Most are caused by some sort of bump to the nose or face. One just started happening when she woke up from a nap w/out any trigger as far as I could tell. Its a pain in the rear because of the blood stains,and I'm a tad concerned because I don't understand why it keeps happening (my husband says we should charge his sister for new bed sheets!). I will call her pediatrician just to check in, but am wondering if others have ever had this type of thing happen and if so, could you tell me about it. Thanks so much. Hilary

I had frequent nosebleeds as a child and after one, whatever the cause, they happened often but with gradually decreasing frequency over time. I'll bet the same will be true with your kid. one thing you might try next time it bleeds is to put ice on the back of her neck - depending on where the bleed is, this can work very well to stop the bleeding but won't really affect re-occurrence. at the md's office the only treatment I know of is to cauterize or burn the offending vessel closed. I've never had that done but it doesn't sound very nice. anon

How to reduce the frequency of nose bleeds?

April 2003

My child gets nose bleeding quite often. I wonder what causes it. And what to do to reduce the frequency of it. If anyone has advice, I would love to hear it. Thanks. kim

My son has had nose bleeds since he was 2 (he's now 3). Once a nose bleed happens, then it takes forever to heal. I've found that a humidifier each night helps for him. It's not a final fix, but it's a good preventative once it does heal. -Naomi

Baby has bloody nose with cold

January 2001

My 6-month old son has been having small amounts of blood in his right nostril and has had rusty-colored mucous come out of his nose for several days. He had a cold (just a sniffly nose, really -- but there was some yellow mucous) for about 2 weeks, worse at night, and I wonder if all the sneezing and sniffling has caused the bleeding. I sure hope that's what it is because if not, I'll be pretty worried! Are there other things that cause bleeding from the nose? Or perhaps he just banged it on something -- his arm, my chin ... His pediatrician saw him on Tuesday and I mentioned the rust-colored mucous, but he didn't seem alarmed. The brighter colored blood happened yesterday. It has now (Friday) gone away, but I am curious about what was going on. Any thoughts? Thanks! Colleen

It could be an irritated/dry nose and throat. When my son was a baby and had croup he coughed up an alarmingly large blob of bright red blood and mucous. (Sorry for the gross description.) Like your doctor, ours seemed unconcerned and reassured me that my son hadn't coughed up a vital organ or anything. I find that when my son has a cold, or when the air is dry (as it is in indoor heated spaces in winter, or indoors and outdoors in summer) it helps to frequently use a nasal saline spray. You can get this in a small squirt bottle at any drugstore. My son hated this at first but eventually got used to it and now can administer it to himself, which he prefers to having Mommy do it. wheeler
Sometimes bleeding is a side effect of the irritation and dryness that follows a cold. If your doctor is not alarmed that's a good sign that you needn't be alarmed (vigilant always, but not alarmed). Heather
Bloody noses for children and grownups can often be the result of a vitamin C deficiency, particularly when the immune system is needing more. Guinea pigs and humans are the only mammals who have all the enzymes but one to make their own vitamin C. Goats crank out 7 grams a day! So, deficiency is common in humans. Using a buffered, hypoallergenic (non-citrus based for such a young child) vitamin C with bioflavonoids can prevent capillary fragility. Spraying a saline solution (Ocean, Ayr, Salinex) into the nostrils can help. Do not suction the mucus out afterwards, however. A room humidifier can decrease drying of the fragile membranes in the nose that can contribute to nosebleed. Hope this will be useful. Nori
If your doctor isn't concerned, you can relax. My daughter had her first nosebleed when she was six months old and thank goodness at the time we were visiting a friend who is the mother of four and grandmother of six, because otherwise I would have panicked. She's now five, and still gets them, particularly when (as others have noted) the air is dry and/or after a cold. Gently pinching her nose right under the bony part seems to help, but frankly I couldn't get her to sit still for that until about a year ago. We've gone through a lot of tissues! A nurse practitioner told me not to worry unless the nose bleed goes on for 20 minutes or more. Lorraine

5 year old has frequent nosebleeds

May 2001

My 5 year old son gets frequent nosebleeds at times. His nose will bleed for about 20 minutes, passing big clots, even with pressure applied to his nose. This may happen every day for a week and then he won't get another nosebleed for 3 months. Certainly dry weather seems to trigger them, so we put vaseline in his nose. Though the nosebleeds are rare, they are a big nuisance for him, interfering with his sports or sidelining him at school as well. Do kids seem to outgrow nosebleeds? Or does anyone have experience with cauterizing the leaky blood vessel? As he will be in school for longer days next year, I don't want him stressing about this. Jennifer

I too suffered from nosebleeds as a child, just like your son's (lasting a long time, large blood clots). I believe dry air may have contributed to my problem. I might try using a humidifier in his room at night from time to time, to see if that helps. The good news is that I eventually stopped getting them. Donna
My wonderful husband was just like your son as a child. He had intermittent periods where his nose bled every day. Then he would have a period where it was healed and it didn't bleed. Then it would start all over again. Today, as an adult he has occasional trouble. He will have bleeding with severe cold. A blow to the nose will also cause bleeding that continues off/on for days. The trouble is a super sensitive lining that as it is healing it tears open again with movement around the new scab. It runs in his family. His father and sister have both had their noses cauterized and never experienced trouble again. My husband opted not to have it done. When I asked him about it. He said it wasn't until college that it lessened in severity. Hope that helps. Dana
My 10 year old daughter used to get severe nosebleeds until we took her to a pediatric ENT to have the vessel(s) cauterized. The process is somewhat uncomfortable (the nostril is stuffed with a piece of guaze containing medicine that numbs the area for about 15 minutes, then the doctor cauterizes the problem area),but the results are quite remarkable. My daughter used to have nosebleeds for 20-40 minutes, sometimes several times a week. After the first medical procedure, she didn't have a single nosebleed until a year later. She's been cauterized 3-4 times since she was about 6 years old. It's been such a relief to not have this problem anymore. We used to worry about her having a bad nosebleed during school plays, fieldtrips, etc. We've had a good experience with Dr. Robert Wesman (428-3456). Karen
My son started getting nosebleeds when he was 2 (he's now almost 4). He's gotten them at home and school. Since nosebleeds run in our family (I have an uncle who got them every day on his way home from school when he was younger) we were fortunate to know some good tricks for keeping them at a minimum... The BEST thing we've found to help reduce the risk of a nosebleed is to run the cool mist humidifier at night. If you haven't tried this already, it works wonders! Heather
My now 14-year-old used to get frequent nosebleeds and her doctor talked about cauterization. We never did it since they'd get better as the weather changed. She got VERY competent dealing with them by holding her nose for a while. She'd never go to the office, etc. so stressing about them was not an issue. She did mostly grow out of them, although it can still happen in an overheated house. Barbara