Nose bleeding, which is also known as epistaxis, is not uncommon in toddlers. This page gives information on causes, treatments and when to be concerned.
The usual causes of a bleeding nose (which is also known as epistaxis) in a child are:
Hold the nose firmly in the soft area just above the nostrils. Hold for at least 10 minutes.
Get your child to hold his head slightly forward. If the nose hasn't stopped bleeding in 10 minutes, continue to hold for another 10 minutes. In most cases, that should stop the bleeding.
See your doctor. Occasionally, we need to use other measures to stop a bleeding nose, like packing the nose or burning the bleeding blood vessel in the nose (we do this gently! with a silver nitrate stick).
See your doctor to check there is no bleeding disorder - your child may need a blood test. In many cases, there will be no bleeding disorder but your child may be a nose-picker and this can cause him to have frequent bleeding from the nose.
In these cases, treatment with a antibiotic cream, placed just around the nostrils, twice a day for a week should settle the bleeding nose. It is important to also encourage your child to stop picking his nose.
We often try this even if there is not a clear story of nose picking and it is usually very successful.
Last reviewed 3 June 2011
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