Kids get into all kinds of scrapes. It's the nature of being a kid. They fall off their bicycles, they, scrape their knees, they trip over skate boards. Luckily, kids are resilient, and they are usually okay with their rough and tumble ways. However, there is one fairly normal childhood occurrence that tends to worry parents: Nosebleeds.
Now, these mysterious and worrying medical occurrences are often harmless (and no, they don't necessarily mean your kid got into a fight with the school playground bully). Any number of things can cause nosebleeds in kids, and we are going to give you a handy little rundown of why this happens, how to prevent it, and, most of all, when to worry.
A Short Introduction To Nosebleeds In Kids
The clinical name for nosebleeds is "Epistaxis." This is just a fancy name for bleeding that occurs when nasal mucus membranes, which are tissues inside the nose, become broken are injured, hence the bleeding. The reason for the blood running from the nose, causing visible nosebleeds in kids, is the large number of tender blood vessel located very close to the openings of the nostrils.
For parents, their first instinct to seeing nosebleeds in kids is alarm. However, this is not always - or even usually - necessary. Nosebleeds in kids happen quite often in dry climates, and there are other causes as well. These include self inflicted wounds to those aforementioned delicate blood vessels. These injuries can be caused by things like nose-picking, which can be a problem when it comes to kids having a cold. Therefore, we are going to give you a list of causes and possible solutions to nosebleeds in kids.
Nosebleeds In Kids Caused By Dry Climate
Living in a dry climate can be the culprit for nosebleeds. There are many solutions to the problem of the lack of moisture. You can have your child take hot (but not too hot!) baths or showers, breathing in the steam. This will moisten nasal passages and open them up, allowing your child to breathe better. Another way to solve the moisture problem is to use a humidifier. Of course, these contraptions are famous for being used at night for people who suffer from stuffy nasal passages for any number of reasons. They are great for treating the problem of nosebleeds in kids that are caused by a dry climate as well, though.
Another solution is saline nasal drips or spray. Many can be purchased over the counter, but there are also prescription varieties as well. If chronic nosebleeds in kids is a regular issue due to your area’s dry climate, definitely see your healthcare provider.
Nosebleeds Caused By Injuries
Kids are notorious for doing things like picking their noses. This is usually just seen as gross to adults, or something to scold when done in polite company. However, nose-picking can also be a culprit of nosebleeds in kids. Here are a few ways to keep those little delicate blood vessels safe:
- Try to explain to your child that an itchy nose should be wiped with a tissue, not his fingers. Keep said tissues on hand.
- Keep your child's nails neatly trimmed and filed, to avoid rough edges that could lead to damaged blood vessels. After all, you cannot be around every second to make sure that there is no nose-picking.
- Put Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the inside of your child's nostrils. Vicks Vapo Rub works as well, and has the added bonus of being great for nasal irritation. This base will coat the blood vessels. This is a definite must for a couple of days post - nosebleed. It allows the area to repair itself without further damage or irritation.
Usually these injuries are self-inflicted, but hopefully these tips can help you out.
Nosebleeds In Kids Caused By Colds, Allergies, And Runny Noses
With cold and flu season approaching, your child is, unfortunately, likely to pick up a bug or two. It just comes with the territories. Of course, colds, allergies, flu, and other illnesses that cause runny noses make for ripe conditions for nosebleeds in kids. Sometimes, a severe runny nose can be blown so hard that the blood vessels burst just from the force of the nose-blowing. Of course, they can also burst from constantly dabbing to keep away the irritation of post-nasal drip. Here are a few tips to keep those pesky issues from causing damage to the nostrils:
- Limit nose-blowing as much as possible.
- Use soft, quality tissues
- Avoid using the tissue to dig into the nostrils
- Keep petroleum jelly on hand to put into the nostrils as a seal to heal irritated noses
- Use a neti pot or saline nose spray to clear passages
Everyone gets colds and flu. Everyone has to blow their noses. Sometimes, kids can get a little too rough and that can cause nosebleeds in kids. These are just a few tips to help prevent that unfortunate phenomenon.
Nosebleeds In Kids: When To Worry
Obviously, there are times when nosebleeds in kids can be something more serious than irritation from nose-picking or blowing one's nose too hard. There are serious underlying conditions for which nosebleeds in kids can be but a surface symptom. In these cases, prompt medical care is essential for your child's health. Therefore, without further ado, here is a list of things to look for that may indicate something more serious:
- If these nosebleeds are chronic. Nosebleeds in kids should be an occasional or semi-occasional occurrence, not something that happens all the time.
- If there are serious injuries to the child's face (beyond nose-picking or nose-blowing). If your child has been hit in the face hard enough to cause a nosebleed, take her or him to the doctor.
- If the nosebleeds are accompanied by other symptoms, such as faintness, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. These can be signs of serious underlying health issues.
Most importantly of all, trust your maternal instincts. Parents know when something is wrong. To that end, always err on the side of caution, and remember - your healthcare provider is there if you need them.
The Bottom Line
Raising kids is hard. There is a wealth of information out there with regards to the "right" way to raise your children. The thing is, there is no one "right" way. We all do things differently in life, including raising kids. Some people prefer a minimalist approach to parenting, while others prefer attachment parenting, for example. The point is, you're doing just fine, no matter your style. The same is true when it comes to handling nosebleeds in kids.
You're a good parent. Just the fact that you are here on this website, reading parenting articles, shows that much. So, relax, and let your little ones enjoy their childhoods. From nosebleeds in kids to which summer camp to send them to, there will always be things to worry over. The important part is to enjoy the ride, and weather the storms. Don't worry - you got this.