Nosebleeds are very common among children and many start spontaneously. Unless they are a direct result of an impact to the nose, the cause may not be known. Simple treatment whereby the blood is encouraged to clot is usually effective. The priority is to protect the casualty’s airway and to try and prevent blood from being swallowed.
- Facial and nasal surgery
- A foreign body lodged in the nose
- Nose picking
- Allergic rhinitis
- Upper respiratory infection
- Sudden trauma to the nose, very cold or very dry air, fragile blood vessels, nasal sprays, strenuous exercise, or picking the nose cause most nosebleeds.
- Blood running from the nose.
- Sensation of fluid in the back of the nose and throat.
- Frequent swallowing.
First Aid – How to treat nosebleeds
- Lean the child forward and encourage her to spit blood into a handkerchief or some other receptacle.
- Pinch the child’s nose just below the hard part at its top and apply firm pressure for 10 minutes (this is the amount of time it takes for a clot to form). If the bleeding has not stopped after 10 minutes, apply pressure for two further periods of 10 minutes. If bleeding continues then take the child to hospital.
Once the bleeding has stopped, advise the child not to scratch, pick or blow her nose, not to drink hot liquid and not to exert herself, as all these activities can dislodge the clot and cause the bleeding to start again.