30 answers

Nose Bleeds in 5 Year Old Getting Worriesome

I have a 5 year old girl that has nose bleeds. She gets them year round, more frequently when the weather changes from hot to cold and vice versa. She has allergies as well but otherwise is an extrememly healthy little girl.
I have spoken to two pediatricians and told her about her nose bleeds, and both have said nothing about it, siting it as something that happens to some children. My husband and his brother also had frequent nose bleeds growing up, and they eventually grew out of it. So generally, I am not concerned, and realize this is something that she will outgrow.
However, this past week we have been dealing with a lot of congestion, along with the weather change. And yesterday, my daugther had 3 really nasty nose bleeds that took quite some time to get stopped and clotted.
I realize that she has been wiping her nose a lot, which can cause irritation (much like a scab), but I just got quite concerned by 3 nose bleeds in one day. We keep vaseline and/or neosporin up there to keep it nice and protected as well. So far today, no nose bleeds...but I just wanted to ask if anyone else has had a child (or themselves) with this type of experience? Does this sound like a serious medical concern at this point to anyone else?
Any advice is appreciated!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank to everyone for the wonderful advice and support. We have not had a nose bleed since the day that I posted it; although I know it will come again, we just have to continue with preventative measures. I have kept a humidifier in her room consistently as well as her nostrils coated with vaseline. I worried about saline nasal spray because I know from personal experience sometimes it can actually cause a drying effect, but I am going to try occasional use to help.
I will contact her pediatrician and see if there's any other options/paths to take.
If nothing else, it is comforting to know that I'm not the only mother who's had to deal with this. And it's great to learn some helpful advice on remaining calm so that she, too can remain calm if this ever happens when she is at school.
Thanks so much, really, everyone. Great stuff.

Featured Answers

Nosebleeds can indicate weak capillaries due to a deficiency of Vitamin C. You might up her Vitamin C intake.

1 mom found this helpful

I grew up in upstate New York, where the weather is pretty dry. I had ear infections and nose bleeds constantly. Try using a humidifier in her bedroom at night.... maybe place another one in the house somewhere for daytime use as well. Maybe some homeopathic ear drops, too could help.

More Answers

i had trouble with nose bleeds after the birth of my 1st child. i would get one almost every day, and eventually woke up in the middle of the night with one. this one sent me the er because it waws so severe. the er doc told me to try afrin nasal spray. he said the blood vessels in my nasal passsages were swollen and inflamed and the steroids in the afrin would help shrink them. but i also had to resisit the urge to rub or blow my nose for several days to keep from dislaodging the clot. he said worst case, i'd have to go back and see an ent doc and possibly have my nasal blood vessels cauterized to seal them off. luckily the afrin worked and it didn't come to that. i don't know the aGE LIMIT ON AFRIN, BUT YOU MIGHT ASK HER PED OR TRY JUST REGUALR saline spray just to keep her nasal passages moist and put a humidifier or vaporizer in her room to keep the air moist too.

1 mom found this helpful

Nosebleeds can indicate weak capillaries due to a deficiency of Vitamin C. You might up her Vitamin C intake.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem when my son was 3. It was constant nosebleeds, some up to 4-5 a day. I took him to an ENT because the pediatrician kept saying he would grow out of it but it was very upsetting to my son and us. The ENT after examing him said that he had veins on the inside of his nose that were not properly covered by the inside lining of the nose. It was too thin. We agreed to have them cauterized and since have had only 2 nose bleeds. Both of those were the result of something hitting him in the nose (football) and he bumped it into his sisters head. The procedure was done in December so almost a year ago. It was a simple same day out patient surgery. I would check with an ENT as that is their primary focus. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't know if this helps or not but I did the same thing when I was a little girl. I could barely play with other kids because my nose would start bleeding for no reason.... ruining my fun. Anyway, they said that I had allergies and a small capillary close to the surface right inside my nose.
They said that it would get better as I got older. Something about the skin would toughen and thicken. Well they were right. I never get a nose bleed anymore and haven't since high school. Sounds crazy but...........
Hope this helps. All I did about it as just put up with it and deal with it for about 16 to 17 yrs.

Hi L.,
I had this same problem when I was a little kid. I remember having nosebleeds all the time, and apparently I got the same diagnosis that a lot of people here have described... unusually thin membranes inside my nose. I'm told that I had the cauterization done at some point (yikes!), but I don't remember it. (Probably blocked out the memory!) What I do remember are lots and lots of nosebleeds throughout my childhood. It became no big deal to me, and I knew just how to handle it even at a very young age. If I got one at school, for instance, I'd just go get a wet paper towel and sit with my head tilted back until it stopped... didn't even have to disrupt class over it all. One negative thing that I do remember was my stepmom constantly accusing me of picking my nose whenever I had a nosebleed. I know a lot of kids do pick their nose, but as a kid with frequent nosebleeds, I think I got the "don't do it" message pretty quickly because I didn't want nosebleeds. It was very upsetting to me when my stepmom refused to believe that I hadn't been picking my nose. Looking back on it now, I realize that I also resented the fact that she was implying that the nosebleeds were MY FAULT. At the time, I don't think I could pin down the feeling so specifically... just knew I hated it when she falsely accused me, and it felt unfair. So my point is, please be sure not to do this with your daughter. Just make sure she knows how important it is that she not pick her nose, and leave it at that.

I think the nosebleeds are probably just something that will be a little annoyance in your daughter's life, and nothing more. My nosebleeds did taper off some as I grew older, though I do still get them occasionally, especially in the winter when the air indoors is dry from heating. (I just use the humidifier when my nose starts to feel dry, and that helps a lot.) If the doctors say there's nothing to worry about, try not to worry. I hope it's helpful to know that this condition is somewhat common. Best wishes to you and your family!

My 8 year old son has nosebleeds like you are describing. We try our best to remember to keep neosporin swabbed in his nose which helps alot. I did (at my aunt's insistence) have him tested for hemophilia because my cousin has hemophilia but the test was negative. You might want to have the doc check her, it's rare in girls but it can happen and alot of doc's will tell you that only males have hemo, that girls are carriers. This is untrue, my aunt is a hemophiliac and didn't know until well into her adult life because the docs said it wasn't possible. I hope this doesn't cause too much worry, she probably isn't but you should have her tested.

You seriously need to speak to a hht.org! frequent and reoccurring nose bleeds especially if there is family history of nose bleeds could be a sign of HHT watch this video and stress this to your pediatrician to have those family members and children screened for hht!!!! If left untreated it could be dangerous! http://video.hht.org/

T. Underwood

Trust your instincts, L.. If you are concerned, definately seek additional medical advice. My 7 month old has a bloody runny nose all the time. 4 attempts at discussing it with my pediatrician yeilded nothing....basically said the same thing yours did. I finally took my daughter to an ENT doctor (ear, nose and throat)this week. He told us that this is NOT typical, and that he feels that she has an underlying infection that is causing this issue. So, right now, we are on a mixture of antibiotics for the next 3 weeks to see if she improves. May not be the same issue, but you should definately seek the advice of a specialist in this area.
Good Luck!

My daughter went thru the same thing while she was growing up. The nose bleeds were worse when she got heated up or in the winter months when it was dryer. To make them not as frequete we placed a humidifier in her room at night and made sure during the dryer months that the house was not full of dry air either. Later as she grew up, the nose bleeds have slowed down considerably. We just went thru a small stint this past spring where they started up again for a few weeks. After taking here to the Dr again, they advise a nasel saline solution. This has worked also. Hope this helps in releaving some of your concerns.

Hi L.,
I am going through the same thing with my 5 year old daughter. THe other night I went to check on her before going to bed and found her covered in blood. It was the scariest thing, and it took me a minute to realize it was from her nose. I had towake her and get her cleaned up. Her nose bled off and on for a day after that. Both my husband and I had nose bleeds as kids. I am keeping a humidifier in her room, giving her a nasal saline solution to keep her nose moist, reminding her not to pick her nose. I don't have any advise on whether it's a serious medical concern or not. But one thing her teacher taught me (after she had a bloody nose on the playground) was to take a q-tip and use it to put pressure on the gums of the upper teeth- inside the lip on that little piece of skin that connects the upper lip to the upper gums. It works great at stopping the nose bleed, and it's better than sitting with a head tilted back and having the blood run down the back of the throat.

A friend of mine who is a nurse had the same issue with her son when he was in grade school. She finally took him to an otolaryngoloist who found a minor issue, took corrective action and the problem ceased.

Dear L.,
It two pediatricians don't think this sounds like a serious medical concern, than I wouldn't either. However as a mom, I, like you, would also be upset and concerned.
For her to have so much congestion right now, I'd check with an allergist to learn what aggravates her stuffiness and what you might be able to do to alleviate it.
After a bloody nose, she has to be VERY strict about not sniffing or blowing her nose for a couple of days so as not to disrupt the clot.
And, last but not least ... When I worked in the ER, we learned not to ask nosebleeding kids IF they picked their nose. They knew they were not allowed to. We asked, "Which finger do you use to pick your nose with?" in order to learn the truth. Then we could teach them not to remove the clot manually.
Edit note: I agree that you should get an ENT consult, also.
Good luck!

You might try spraying saline drops drops daily in her nostrils to keep them from getting dry, if you think that is contributing. Also, a home remedy for stopping them is to drop a set of keys down her back, under her shirt. It supposedly works (read it on the peoplespharmacy.com), though I haven't had occasion to try it myself. They think maybe the cold keys causes the blood vessels to constrict and stop the bleeding. It probably would be a good idea, as mentioned, to see an ENT.

Hey, I had (occasionally still have) the same problem when I was her age. Turns out the inside of my nose was dry. Put a little bit of chapstick or vaseline on the inside of the nose before bed...just enough to give it some moisture. (Of course you still need to be able to breathe...don't want to plug the nose.) After a couple nights of this it should clear up. When it happens in the future do the same thing. I had to do it a couple times a month in the winter and hardly ever in the summer. But maybe your child will need it more often. I'd try this for a week before I'd go to the Dr. If after a week you don't see drastic improvement the make an appointment :)
Hope this helps! Wish I would have learned it 10 years earlier!

My daughter is going to be eight this week. She gets nosebleeds quite often like your daughter since the age of 3. You already know the vaseline trick, so I have nothing to add. It sounds like you are doing everything right. She's probably a pro at holding her nose and alerting you, so just keep it up! I hope these awful (and many times, messy!) nosebleeds will one day cease! God bless!

Hi Loura
I had relation who had nose bleeds alot. They had found out that I guess the vains in the nose had a sensitivity and when touch they would start bleeding. Or the change of the weather.
They went to the Doctor and something was done up in the nostrel. I do not know what they did. maybe you can get that checked and see what that was about.

Take care
And Have a great Day Today
Vicki W.

My 6 year old nephew gets frequent nose bleeds also. His dr says it is due to allergies. He is on zyrtec daily and they too keep vaseline in there. His dad and grandpa also had nose bleeds as children. If you dont already know this, dont hold her head back to stop the bleeding. Have her look down and pinch the bridge of her nose. As my nephew has gotten older the nose bleeds have slowed down alot. If they continue w/ your daughter to more than one a day I would find a dr who is willing to help.

My youngest son also had a lot of problems with nose bleeds. His would bleed so bad he would be dripping blood down the hallway to the bathroom to get a wash rag. I spoke to his doctor several times about it and she just said it was because of his allergies. Nothing really helped with the problem. He is now 13 and seems to have out grown it for the most part. It only happened twice this year so far,( for a while it was a daily thing). Hopefully your daughter will out grow it also.

This is very common. Your daughter, most likely, has surface veins inside her nose that are very easily broken. My son had the same thing. I took him to the ENT and the only thing that he could do was to go inside his nose and cauterize the surface veins. (This sounded too painful, so I opted out of that) The reason that it seems to get worse during season changes is because of the heat being dry. If you have gas heat in your house, your daughters nasal cavity is getting very dry. You are doing the right thing by putting vaseline inside the nose. You may want to also put a humidifier in her room. This will help to keep her nasal passages moist.
Best wishes to you!!

my worst fear here is not clotting like you said.. this can be very dangerous.next time if he has a bad bleed take him to the er right away and have them test his hemoglobin levels. good luck

Ask your pharmacist about a light gel that is available to help keep her sinus cavities hydrated. My daughter would have horrible nose bleeds and has grown out of them, but we loved this gel because it felt better for her and it seemed to hydrate better than other remedies. I cannot remember the name but I know that when I needed it, the pharmacy or pediatrician would know.

I grew up in upstate New York, where the weather is pretty dry. I had ear infections and nose bleeds constantly. Try using a humidifier in her bedroom at night.... maybe place another one in the house somewhere for daytime use as well. Maybe some homeopathic ear drops, too could help.

Yes, L., I grew up with them as does two of my three boys. It can seem scary, but teach her how to deal with it herself and make sure she does not see you are stressed about it. My boys, 11 and 5 take care of them on their own, even when they wake up at night with one. They never come get me anymore. I get a rag of some sort, have them sit on the floor with their head against the wall, tilted just a little. They pinch their noses just above the soft part till it stops. Sometimes a clot comes out and if that happens, the bleeding almost always stops right away. I am 41 and I still get them occasionally with the changing of the seasons. Just send her to school with a rag or small towel in case it happens in school. Mine get them there and I use to get them in the middle of doing school work for no apparent reason! It helps that they are prepared if it is that frequent. Good luck.

My son, now 15, had frequent nose bleeds. They occurred most often in winter, when the air was dry. When he was 2, the ENT had to insert something that looked almost like a tampon into his nostril and leave it all weekend with the string taped to his face. Other than that one time, my son was able to care for the condition himself and each school year we'd update his teachers about this letting them know he could care for it himself. The good news is that he hasn't had a nose bleed at all since he was 11. Maybe as he's grown and matured, he has learned to compensate for the dryness in his nose that causes this or maybe this condition has changed on it's own. After reading the other responses, it seems like kids "grow out of it".

Hi L.! I had this problem as a small child. For no rhyme or reason, I would have a terrible nosebleed that could take quite awhile to stop. I would wake up in the mornings with blood all over my pillow and in my bed and it would look as if someone had been shot. I would be sitting in my desk at school and it would bleed all over my schoolwork. I had a nosebleed so regularly that I ended up being anemic. When I was in the 3rd grade my parents took me to a Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist and I had my nose cauterized. I am 32 years old and to this day never had another nosebleed. And I have even been hit in the nose so hard that you would think it would have bled, but it didnt! I highly recommend this painfree procedure. It only takes a few minutes in the office, no anestheia necessary. Hope this helps! Believe you me... they are worrisome!

My son (17)gets nose bleeds often also. We have found keeping the air humid helps. This can be as easy as a large pot of water on the stove on low heat. You can also buy a humidifier. I don't remember it being to expensive. You should use distilled water in it. The minerals in regular tap water cause a really nasty build-up on the heating element. I would also get his blood pressure checked. Nose bleeds can occur when blood pressure is elevated.

Most likely the difference with the weather change is having heat in the house and drying the air. Add a good amount of humidity, especially in her bedroom. Also, might want to consult w/an ENT (ear/nose/throat) specialist and see if she might have a weak or thin blood vessel up in her nose that might need cauterized. One of our kids did, and it helped tremendously! He'd bled on almost every sheet and pillow that had found its way onto his bed!

(P.S. one of the best blood removers is saliva! Just spit on it! Peroxide will usually take away any leftover traces, especially if you rinse it out with cold water ASAP after the 'bleed').

Hi! I myself have frequent nose bleeds at the season changes and especially in the winter. However they are not as bad as your little girl's. I would highly recommend that you take her to an ear nose and throat doctor. They would best be able to see if there is really anything wrong or tell you if she will indeed simply grow out of it.

Good luck and God Bless!

I would get a whole house humidifier and a separate one for just her room. Her nasal passages are very dry. I would also take her to an ENT specialist. Don't waste your time with a pediatrician, when a specific problem pops up. Good luck.

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