Most of us get nose bleeds now and again. They’re usually pretty mild and quite easy to stop. That’s not the case for everyone though. Back in April I found out that my son was one of those kids that can get an extreme bloody nose. The kind where blood runs out and gets everywhere. Most people don’t know the proper way to stop a heavy nose bleed. Had I not known what to do things likely wouldn’t have gone as well for Nick, so it’s important to know how to properly handle nose bleeds in kids.
How to Stop Nose Bleeds?
So our big question of course is how do you stop a really bad bloody nose? Since i went into education I had a lot of training for how to correctly handle nose bleeds in college. Nose bleeds are a common site in schools. Even with all the training though teachers typically hand a tissue to the child with the bloody nose and send them to the nurse.
Even with training I found that my own head went fuzzy while I watched all the blood coming out of Nick in Florida (it was bad!), so it’s important to make sure that you know what to do if you find yourself in such a situation.
*No matter what you might have been taught to do in the past make sure you don’t lay your child on their back to stop their nose bleed. This can cause the blood to run down their throats. They could then swallow it and it could cause vomiting. You really don’t want that!*
1. Stay Calm
First stay calm. It’s important that you are calm so that you can help your child calm down. Your child likely will already be upset about the situation, and they aren’t likely to be happy about what they have to go through to get the bleeding to stop. Nick usually cries a lot during them, and that is not helpful since it makes his nose run which keeps the blood flowing out.
Make sure to act in control (even if you don’t feel that way) to calm your child’s nerves. Move swiftly, but surely, and talk to your child in a calm and soothing voice. You might have to put a little force into your voice though to get through to your child, and that is alright as long as it’s still calm. I often have to tell Nick that he has to calm down so that the bleeding will stop sooner.
2. Stop the Flow
To stop the blood flow have your child lean slightly forward and then pinch the soft part of their nose shut with your thumb and fore finger. Your child will have to breath through their mouth which can be very difficult for them if they’re younger, so do your best to talk them through what they should do. This can cause young children to get scared because they’ll feel like they can’t breath.
If possible keep the nose pinched shut for 10 minutes, or as long as you can. Nick can never handle 10 minutes straight, so we often have to take a moment to stop and then try again. If you have to stop make sure to hold a tissue near their nose to catch any dripping blood. If your child’s nose is still bleeding after the first 10 minutes than reapply pressure and check again in another 10 minutes.
3. Add Ice
While you’re pinching the nose shut you can hold an ice pack to the nose and cheeks (if your child will stand for it). The cold will constrict the blood vessels and help stop the bleeding.
4. Keep the Blood from Coming Back
Once the nose bleed has stopped there are a few steps to take to keep the blood from coming back. First make sure that you child doesn’t blow their nose for awhile. WebMD says that after a nose bleed you shouldn’t blow your nose for 12 hours, but I would say that’s easier said than done. Just get your child to go for as long as they can without blowing. You can also put some Vaseline on the inside of their nose. This helps to remoisten the membranes in the nose.
How to Prevent Nose Bleeds?
So now you know how to stop a nose bleed, but trust me that you don’t want to have to go through them. I’ve had areas of my home look like a crime scene after Nick’s had a bloody nose. To keep that from happening you want to take steps to prevent them in the first place. Nose bleeds are mostly caused by the membranes in the nose drying up. This often happens due to dry air conditions, or from over use as can happen at the end of a cold.
1. Use Vaseline
As I mentioned above you can add moisture back into the nose with Vaseline. All you need to do is get a little Vaseline on your finger tip and rub it inside the nose right at the opening. Then you just leave it there. It’ll eventually just dissolve or will come out when your little one wipes their nose. I always do this if I notice the start of a nose bleed, but you can do it if you think conditions are right for causing a bloody nose.
2. Use a Humidifier
The easiest way to keep the membranes in the nose from drying out is by keeping the air moist. Nick and I both have humidifiers in our rooms. They’re great not only for helping with nose bleeds, but they help keep our skin from drying out to help prevent eczema as well.
3. See a Doctor
While I personally wouldn’t do this as a first step, if your child is having heavy nose bleeds consistently than you probably should talk about it with their pediatrician. In some cases they will cauterize the nose to keep the bloody noses from even occurring. They actually had to do this for one of my younger cousins and now she doesn’t even get nose bleeds any more.
Resources to Help with Nose Bleeds
- Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier – Frog
- Green sprouts Cool Calm Press, Turtle
- Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Original 3.75 oz
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