19 answers

Need Advice on How to Treat Recurring Bloody Nose

My 6 year old daughter gets nosebleeds.... a lot, when the weather is dry, when she has a cold, when her allergies to pollen start up. She can get heavy nosebleeds, light nosebleeds or very heavy nosebleeds. We usually have her rest until the bleeding stops, and then she is up and running again. It is very difficult because she also gets nosebleeds in school, and lately she has been getting them every day.
We have spoken to her pediatrician about this, he has looked up into her nose, every year at her check up, and says there is really nothing to be done, he doesn't see anything....she may simply outgrow them, or when she is older she can think about getting that area in her nose cauterized.Meanwhile she has to just deal with the nosebleeds whenever they start. She feels OK about the nosebleeds at school, her teachers and classmates are very kind and understanding. I am grateful she is not upset and self conscious about this. Does anyone have any tried and true techniques to help with this?

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Featured Answers

I would take her to see another pediatrician asap. She may need blood work drawn to rule out any bleeding disorder such as Von Willebrands to name one. Not to be alarmist but this doesn't sound like something that a child grows out of.

Nosebleeds can often be helped by adding calcium to the diet. Look for calcium citrate or lactate, often with magnesium. The blood needs to be a bit thicker. Yes, the blood also has to have calcium, not just bones and teeth.

Dr. A. Dunev

More Answers

My son used to, and sometimes still does, get nose bleeds as well. He is eight now and they don't happen as often. When they do occur, they seem to happen one after the other. We put a humidifier in his room at night and that seems to have helped alot. Now that he's eight, they don't happen as often and when they do, they're not as bad as they used to be. I believe they do grow out of it. I too had them as a kid at five, six, seven years old. Good luck.

D.
L.A.

Humidity helps. Have you tried turning on a humidifier in your daughter's bedroom each night?

L. E

I used to get nosebleeds a lot when I was a child growing up in a very dry area of Colorado - sometimes on a daily basis. They never bothered me much. They talked about maybe eventually cauterizing my nose but I never felt I needed it.

As an adult I still ocassionally get them but one thing I've found helps is to use nasal spray during the especially dry periods like now. You can buy them in any drugstore and just have her spray several times a day. It should at least lessen the severity. The other thing that may help is to have a humidifier on in her room at night.

I wouldn't worry too much about it since she clearly is handling it well.

I am a third grade teacher, and sometimes children are just nose-bleeders, especially when the air is dry and usually hot. The best thing is just to keep the child hydrated. But I wouldn't be too concerned about it because as a teacher I do see it all the time. Every year in my class during summertime I usually have a child who bleeds almost daily from the nose, usually after running around during recess in the dry heat. Good luck!

WHen I was a kid, I had lots of nosebleeds and the cauterizing fixed the problem.

My daughter just turned 8 and she too has nosebleeds. I've noticed it happening less in the last few months. She's very good at handling her nosebleeds; she doesn't get upset and is very calm when it happens. What we do have on hand all the time is saline spray - "Little Noses" - it helps especially on dry days. Hope this helps.

Hi my name is Y. and both my daughters have nose bleeds from time to time. You're right it's the dry weather out here, and the pollutants. The girls play tennis tournaments and it's happened then also. What I have done to minimize the occurrence is take a small amount of vaseline and place it on a cotton ball to coat the inside of the nostril. It actually seems to work. Also, on the onset of a nose bleed I get a ice pack placing on the bridge of the nose while holding the holding the nose with a cold wash cloth until the bleeding stops. This seems to make it stops fairly quickly too. The vaseline however works really well in preventing the nosebloods. Do this every day. You don't need that much. You could place the vasaline on a cotton swab and that should do the trick.

Hi P. -

When I was little, I used to get frequent nosebleeds (and earraches as well, but you don't mention that being an issue). There was never any talk of it being a serious problem, nor was here any plan for anything being done about it, that I knew of. I recall them being more likely in hot weather, but that could be faulty memory -- I'm now 52. They never really bothered me, it was just something that happened. I simply outgrew them, not exactly sure what age, but I'm thinking perhaps around 8? I am pretty sure they were less and less frequent until they stopped altogether.

One technique my mom learned to help me stop the bleeding more quickly was to have me sit up straight, rather than lie back (which was the conventional wisdom at that time). My doctor told her it was better to have me sit up and pinch the bridge of my nose for a little while. I still remember being amazed at how quickly I was back to playing when we started doing that.

Hope at least some of the above is helpful. All the best to you,
C.

PS: One more thing. I noticed one of the moms said they use Aquaphor in their child's nose after the bloody nose. I really hope people see this posting of mine, because it's important. Aquaphor is a petroleum product, as is Vaseline. While they both have good uses, near or in the nose is not advisable. Any petroleum product, Neosporin included (which has a warning on the packaging), is not to be inhaled -- bad idea to get the particles in the lungs. A better idea would be a bit of Vit E oil or if you like thicker stuff, there is something that feels exactly like Vaseline called Un-Petroleum Jelly made by Alba. Don't mean to freak anybody out. I found all this out when my daughter got impetigo on her nose and I was told to get an antibiotic ointment, but then saw the warning on it NOT to put it near the nostrils. I called the company and was told why. I've been on the search for alternatives ever since and am very happy with what we use now. Sorry this got long!

My friend's daughter gets them and I know she always has a little bottle of homeopathic arnica with her. You can buy it at any health food store, you want Arnica C30. The low numbers are the ones for bodily issues. (Higher ones like 200 or 1000 are more for moods and other things, which I don't particularly endorse, but anyway...) arnica seems to work wonders for healing wounds and stopping the bleeding. You can give her 7 tiny pills ("globuli" is what they're called) every time she gets a nose bleed, and otherwise 7 once a week. I suppose she can't take them to school, you have to decide on that one. It's more like candy for the kids, it tastes like sugar, so she'll like it at least. I keep Arnica in my bag and every time my daughter falls down she gets some. It really seems to prevent bruises from getting ugly and helps the body to heal itself. It even worked to prevent a beesting from getting bad. Hope it helps! Good Luck!

I had nosebleeds when I was a kid, very frequently, maybe not as much as every day, but very often...The doctor suggested me the same thing (cauterize) and I grew up waiting to be grown up enough to be able to do it, as I was pretty annoyed by it! Funny enough, as soon as I grew older, the bleedings stopped spontaneously. Now I'm pregnant 5 months and sometimes I get blood in my nose, they say it's a hormonal thing...maybe that's why in kids it stops with the coming of age!
I guess is one of those things your girl will have to deal with, it is not that bad, I remember being annoyed by it but also if was good sometimes 'coz I was getting lots of attention and it was kinda 'cool' in its own way ;>)

I had bloody noses several times a day till I was 8 and my pediatrician finally cauterized my nose - the best thing that ever happened to me! I STILL wish my mom had let him do it earlier - I'm 50 now and can count the number of nosebleeds I've had since then!!

Hi P.,

I just finished reading my new Parents magazine and it says to use cayenne pepper. Sounds weird, I know, but they say to dab a little mixture of that on a damp cotton swab and wipe around your child's nostrils.

Hi,
My daughter had the same thing! As long as the doctor hasn't found anything medical, you may just have to wait it out. My daughter is now in 5th grade and they have slowed down quite a bit. But it was the same thing, hot weather, a cold, and allergies. We treated it with all the basics, keep head down -chin to chest or bend over - NOT head back because she will swallow the blood. Pinch the bridge of the nose to help stop the flow, ice or a "boo boo bunny" if she can tolerate that on her nose. Then when it stopped, we put Aquaphor on a Q-tip and put it inside the nostril to soothe it and keep it moist. Also helpful, nasal spray, the natural saline kind, and sleep with a humidifier, especially in the hot weather. We have one of those animal ones you can get a Bed, Bath or Target.
If it isn't medical, she should outgrow it. It is a real nuisance now, but is sounds like she has a good attitude about it. Plus, it happens to lots of kids, so schools are used to it and, hopefully, yours will continue to help her through the phase with patience!!
S.

Nosebleeds can often be helped by adding calcium to the diet. Look for calcium citrate or lactate, often with magnesium. The blood needs to be a bit thicker. Yes, the blood also has to have calcium, not just bones and teeth.

Dr. A. Dunev

Hi P.,
I had bloody noses like your daughter when I was little. Now I still get them at 42 once in a while, sometimes they can be longer to stop. I had my nose cauterized when I was little, but that really did not do anything. They mostly come when the nose is dry inside (like when you are sick) and then once there is a break inside, you have to be really careful until it fully heals. I have red hair and really fair skin so I think that may have something to do with it. I think the veins in my nose are really thin so they are more sensitive. (neither of my children have every had a bloody nose). They should lessen as she gets older. I really do not know how to stop them, but maybe if you keep her nose moist inside (whether that be with vaseline or something else) maybe the sensitive spots inside would break less often. As long as she is comfortable at school with it, that is good. I got them a lot when I was in elementary but they did lessen a lot in middle and high school.

I hope this helped you a little

D.

hi P.,
i have a 9 year old who gets lots of heavy nosebleeds. it scared me to death, until the doctor assured me that it was not a big deal. we have found a couple of things that have helped. first, she sleeps with a cool air humidifier in her room. this alone has solved 95% of the problem. second, in really dry weather, she puts a little vaseline in her nostrils a couple of times a day. these two things have nearly eliminated the problem! i hope they will work for your daughter, too.

R.

My 6 year old daughter used to get a lot of nosebleeds as well. Per her pediatrician's recommendation, we started using a cool mist humidifyer in her room at night; this kept the air in her bedroom moist at night and it stopped her nose bleeds. After about a month, we stopped using the humidifying for about a week, and her nosebleeds started again. So now, we just continue to use the humidifyer to prevent the nosebleeds.

I would take her to see another pediatrician asap. She may need blood work drawn to rule out any bleeding disorder such as Von Willebrands to name one. Not to be alarmist but this doesn't sound like something that a child grows out of.

Hi P.,
I am the mother of a nine year old who has had bloody nose problems for several years. This year it has gotten so bad that it make take surgery to correct it. In her case, and likely your daughter's, there is a small blood vessel that has a thinner than normal skin over it. When it gets dry or irritated, it opens up - and that causes the nose bleed. Sometimes they are pretty apparent (like my daughter's this past time), sometimes, not so much. Cauterizing it does help and work, most of the time, but only if you can see the "bleeder". Our last nose bleed took over one hour to stop (and i'm not talking oozing). Here is what our MD suggested: buy a bottle of Afrin. At the first sight of blood, take a cotton ball, break off a piece and saturate with the Afrin. Shove that little piece up your daughter's nose and push that nostril (with the cotton) towards the bridge (it's like a half pinch). Hold it for about a minute and it should stop. Here's why: Afrin contains a chemical that acts as a nasil constrictor. It causes the blood vessels to constrict, or get smaller. When that happens, the membranes shrink and the bleeding will stop. It has worked the majority of the time for us. My daughter keeps cotton balls and Afrin in her fanny pack (along with her epi-pen). Once the bleeding stops, that's when you can use the vaseline or aquaphore to coat the nose. I also recommend the ice, arnica, and saline spray - but all of that you can only use (with the exception of the ice) - once the bleeding has stopped. But, be careful when you put it up her nose; if there is a scab, you risk ripping it off when you put the cotton swab up there.
Good luck,
J.

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