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By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Far most children experience nosebleed one or several times. Most cases of nosebleed arise because the child picks its nose or because the child has suffered a blow to the nose. If the child has suffered a heavy blow to the nose and the nose looks crooked, it might be broken.

Children and youngsters usually bleed from blood vessels of the nasal septum just inside the nostrils. The blood vessels reside just beneath the mucous membrane and bleed easily – even from light nose picking. A bloody nose can appear pretty brutal, especially if the child wakes up in the middle of the night with its face covered in blood. It is, however, only very small amounts of blood that is lost during nosebleed.

A bloody nose is easy to treat but if the child has had it once, it does not take a lot of nose picking for the wound to bleed again. If the child has repeated nosebleeds, it may be necessary with cauterization. When cauterizing, the doctor rubs a corrosive remedy on the origin of the bleeding. It is not possible to cauterize while the child has a nosebleed – first, the bleeding must be stopped.

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What can you do?

A bloody nose can usually be stopped by parents by putting a cotton swab into the nostril harbouring the bleeding and squeezing the front of the nose with two fingers. The adult must squeeze the nose hard for five to ten minutes – check your watch. If this is not sufficient a small tight roll of gaze, 1 cm wide, is firmly fixed in the bleeding nostril. The child should be placed sitting with its head leaned slightly forward and should not be given any hot drinks.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

If the bloody nose is caused by a blow and the nose looks crooked the next day. It is impossible to see if the nose is crooked, if it is swollen. Therefore you should wait one to two days before you determine whether the nose is crooked or not. A broken nose is in any case not treatable before the swelling has disappeared.

Contact the doctor immediately

If you cannot stop the bleeding.