A nosebleed is bleeding from tissues inside the nose (nasal mucus membranes) caused by a broken blood vessel. The medical word for nosebleed is epistaxis. Most nosebleeds in children occur in the front part of the nose close to the nostrils. This part of the nose has many tiny blood vessels. These can be damaged easily.
A nosebleed can look scary, but is usually not a serious problem. Nosebleeds are common in children. They happen more often in dry climates. They also happen more during the winter. That’s when dry heat in homes and buildings can cause drying, cracking, and crusting inside the nose. Many children outgrow nosebleeds during their teen years.
Nosebleeds can be caused by many things. Some common causes include:
In many cases, no specific cause for a nosebleed is found.
A child may be more at risk for nosebleed if he or she:
The main symptom of a nosebleed is blood dripping or running from the nose. Bleeding from the mucus membranes in the front of the nose comes from only one nostril. Bleeding higher up in the nasal cavity may come from both nostrils. It may be painless. Or your child may have pain caused by an injury or an area of sore tissue inside the nose.
The symptoms of a nosebleed can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about any recent accidents or injuries. He or she will give your child a physical exam.
If your child’s nose doesn’t stop bleeding, take him or her to see the healthcare provider. In some cases a provider may apply heat to close a blood vessel. This is called cauterization. It is a quick procedure. Talk with your child’s healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all treatments.
If your child has nosebleeds often, you can help prevent them in these ways:
Call the healthcare provider if:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: