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Does this describe your child's symptoms?

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First Aid - Nosebleed


  • Bleeding from 1 or both nostrils

  • No known injury


  • Nosebleeds are common because of the rich blood supply of the nose. Common causes include:

  • Dryness of the nasal lining (e.g., from forced air furnace in winter)

  • Antihistamines (Reason: they also dry the nose)

  • Vigorous nose blowing

  • Ibuprofen and aspirin (Reason: increase bleeding tendency)

  • Suctioning the nose can sometimes cause bleeding

  • Picking or rubbing the nose

  • Predisposing factors that make the nasal lining more fragile: nasal allergies, colds and sinus infections

If not, see these topics

  • Follows injury, see NOSE INJURY


When to Call Your Doctor

call 911

Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If

  • Fainted or too weak to stand

call now

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • You think your child has a serious injury

  • Bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure applied correctly and tried twice

  • New skin bruises or bleeding gums not caused by an injury are also present

  • Large amount of blood has been lost

  • You think your child needs to be seen urgently

call within 24 hours

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If

  • You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently

call within 24 hours

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns

  • Age under 1 year old

  • New-onset nosebleeds are occurring frequently

  • Hard-to-stop nosebleeds are a recurrent chronic problem

  • Easy bleeding present in other family members

home care

Parent Care at Home If

  • Mild nosebleed and you don't think your child needs to be seen



  1. Reassurance:

    • Nosebleeds are common.

    • You should be able to stop the bleeding if you use the correct technique.

  2. Apply Pressure:  

    • Gently squeeze the soft parts of the lower nose against the center wall for 10 minutes.  This should apply continuous pressure to the bleeding point.  

    • Use the thumb and index finger in a pinching manner.

    • If the bleeding continues, move your point of pressure.

    • Have your child sit up and breathe through the mouth during this procedure.

    • If rebleeds, use the same technique again.

  3. Insert Gauze:

    • If pressure alone fails, insert a gauze wet with a few decongestant nose drops (e.g., nonprescription Afrin). (Reason: The gauze helps to apply pressure and nose drops shrink the blood vessels).

    • If not available or less than one year old, use petroleum jelly applied to gauze.

    • Repeat the process of gently squeezing the lower soft parts of the nose for 10 minutes.

  4. Prevent Recurrent Nosebleeds:

    • If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier to keep the nose from drying out.

    • Apply petroleum jelly to the center wall of the nose twice a day to promote healing.

    • For nose blowing, blow gently.

    • For nose suctioning, don't put the suction tip very far inside. Also, move it gently.

    • Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen (Reason: increase bleeding tendency).

  5. Expected Course: Over 99% of nosebleeds will stop following 10 minutes of direct pressure if you press on the right spot. After swallowing blood from a nosebleed, your child may vomit a little blood or pass a dark stool tomorrow.

  6. Call Your Doctor If:

    • Unable to stop bleeding with 20 minutes of direct pressure

    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.

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