By Melissa Lahti, Jan. 02 2008
Some children get a lot of nosebleeds while others rarely get them. I know as a mother it’s a scary thing to look at your child when they are standing there with a hand over their face and blood is running everywhere. As panic starts to set in and everything looks so gory. It almost makes your heart stop for a moment. You grab the nearest thing around that you think won’t be ruined and, now what? Do we just sit here and wait and keep soaking everything around us with blood? Or is there actually a way to stop this horror?
The inside of the nose is composed of lots of tiny blood vessels. Because they are so close to the surface, and there are so many, they are very easy to break. Since the nose protrudes out from the face, with any trauma you can almost always bet the nose is going to be hit. This will almost always cause it to bleed. Bleeding does not mean the nose is broken.
A few causes of nosebleeds include weather and medications. When the weather turns cold and it becomes necessary to turn on the heat. The air dries out and so do the membranes in your nose. They then easily crack and cause the nose to bleed. Medications, especially ones that prevent normal blood clotting, can also cause frequent nosebleeds. They include but are not limited to Coumadin, Warfarin, and Aspirin.
There are a few ways to prevent nosebleeds. One way is to buy a humidifier. If you plan on keeping this in your child’s room make sure you buy one that produces a cool steam so you don’t risk the child getting burned. If you don’t want to buy a humidifier, as a home remedy you can boil a pot of water on the stove for a while. You can even add some cinnamon and a few cloves and it will make your house smell wonderful. However, make sure you don’t forget about it and let all the water boil away, as this could possibly start a fire.
Another thing that helps with prevention is to spread a thin layer of Vaseline on the inside of your child’s nose to keep it moist and prevent it from cracking.
Contrary to what most people believe, to treat a nosebleed you should never have your child lie down or tip their head back. The blood will run down their throat and into the stomach possibly causing a stomach ache. Instead, have the child sit down and lean their head forward. Pinch the nose between your thumb and forefinger at the soft spot just below the bony ridge that forms the bridge of your nose. Hold the nostrils closed like this for about five minutes. Then, check to see if the bleeding has stopped. If it has not stopped give it another five minutes. Never pack anything into the nose. Also, applying an ice pack to the bridge of the nose may help.
Encourage your child not to pick their nose. This may start the bleeding all over again. It’s also a good idea to keep your child’s finger nails trimmed short. So they don’t scratch the inside of their nose if they really just can’t keep that little finger out of there.
Remember, the sight of blood is enough to frighten anyone. Make sure you stay calm and your child will also.