Nosebleeds in children: how to stop a nosebleed

Nosebleeds are particularly common in children between the ages of two and ten.

Generally speaking nosebleeds aren't anything too serious to worry about, but they can be a bit of a shock and look quite distressing especially to a child.

There's some first aid for children (opens in new tab) tricks and tips you can use if your little one gets a nosebleed to stem the bleeding and help them recover from it quickly. It's good to try and teach your child the right thing to do so that they don't panic if a nosebleed happens whilst they are away from you at school or a friends house, particularly as they are more common in children and teenagers.

What causes nosebleeds?

The inside of your nose is made up of tiny, delicate blood vessels that can become damaged and bleed easily, so nosebleeds are pretty common especially in children between two and ten years old.

Some common causes of nosebleeds include:

  • Picking their nose

  • Blowing their nose very hard

  • Minor injury to their nose

  • Changes in humidity or temperature causing the inside of the nose to become dry and cracked

How to stop a nosebleed?

1. Sit the child down and tilt their head forward so the blood drains from the nose.

2. Get them to breathe through their mouth and pinch the soft part of their nose below the bridge for 10 minutes.

3. When the bleeding stops, clean their face. Tell them not to speak, cough or sniff because this might disturb the blood clots which have formed in the nose and make the nose start bleeding again.

Top tips: - Don't tilt the head back, because blood can go back down the throat and make them feel sick. - If bleeding doesn't stop after the first 10 minutes, pinch the nose for another 10 minutes and then another 10 after that. - If the child's nose is still bleeding after 30 minutes, you should take them to casualty or your doctor.

How can I prevent my child's nosebleeds?

Things you can do to try and prevent your child's nosebleeds include:

  • Don't let them pick their nose

  • Keep their fingernails short so that they don't catch themselves by accident

  • Make sure they blow their nose gently

  • Regularly apply petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) to the inside of their nostrils to keep the inside of your nose moist

  • Especially for sports such as rugby, give them a head guard to wear during activities in which their nose or head could get injured