Waking up to blood on your pillow or face is a scary experience. It is even more terrifying if your toddler experiences this. It is more robust for first-time mums, especially those who do not have any idea on what to do. Nose bleeding in toddlers is mostly because of nose-picking or breathing in dry air. Most of these bleeding will end on their own and can be quickly taken care of at home. It can also be caused by a broken blood vessel. The medical term for nose bleeding is epistaxis.
In children, the blood vessels near the nostrils are weak and are therefore prone to easy breakage. Even though most kids outgrow nose bleeding at their teen years, it may be draining to the child health-wise. It mostly occurs during winter when you have to induce dry heat in your homes. Dry air will cause cracking and crusting inside the nose and therefore leading to bleeding.
One thing that most parents fail to note is that there are two types of nose bleeds; posterior and anterior. An anterior nosebleed is the common one whereby blood will be coming from the front of the nose. Anterior is mostly caused by the rupture of blood vessels in the nose. A posterior nosebleed is caused by an acute injury or hit on the face or around the nose area. The posterior kind of nose bleeds unusual in children.
Causes of nose bleeding in toddlers
There are a few reasons behind a child’s bloody nose.
- Scratching and picking. Scratching and picking is the most common known reason as to why toddlers will have a bloody nose. Toddlers may, at times, pick and scratch their noses, maybe when they are feeling itchy or sleepy. Frequent or vigorous nose picking can lead to nose bleeding. If this happens, it should end on its own without much bleeding.
- Dry air: dry air irritates the nasal membranes. It also dehydrates the nasal membranes. Whether it is heated indoor air or it’s during the dry weather climate, this dryness will cause bleeding for the toddler.
- Trauma: If a child gets an injury on the nose, there may be bleeding. It is, at times, not a problem, but it should not take more than 10 minutes. If it does, you will need to call a doctor for a checkup.
- Allergies: it is pervasive for children to get allergies. Cold allergies or sinus infections may cause nose bleeding to the toddler. They might cause nasal congestion or irritation, which might then lead to nose bleeds.
- Bacterial infections: if the child has any bacterial infections in the nose, they at most times will have sores, red areas on the skin inside the nose, or in front of the nostrils. These infections will lead to bleeding.
Pro tip: In sporadic cases, you might find that your toddler had bleeding due to blood clots around the nose or maybe abnormal blood vessels. If this is so, then you should seek medical attention with immediate effect.
How to take care of your child during nose bleeds
You can treat your child’s nosebleed at home even without having to call a doctor for this. Begin by sitting them on a chair. If they are too small and have not yet begun sitting down, put them in a position that will make them seem as if they are sitting. After that, follow the below steps.
- Keep them upright and tilt their head forward so that blood flows outwards and not inwards. It is not good for blood to run down their throat; it will taste bad. It can even make them vomit, cough, and choke. It would not be a pleasant sight to watch.
- Pinch the soft part of the nose just below the nasal bridge. Your child should breathe through the mouth. Note that this should only be done if your child is old enough to do this. If they cannot, do it for some seconds and give them time to breathe.
- Try to maintain doing this for about 10 minutes. If you stop too early, the bleeding might begin all over again. Alternatively, you can apply ice on the nasal bridge to reduce the blood flow.
Treating frequent nose bleeds.
By now, you should have already learned how frequently your child’s nose bleeds. If it occurs too often, you will need to moisturize the lining of the nose often as well. There are several ways by which you can do this; these are:
- Use nasal saline drops. Ensure that you put in a few drops into the nose several times a day. You can also use the nasal mist and spray it around your toddler’s nose.
- Rub an emollient inside the nose using a cotton bud (recommended) or finger. For this, Vaseline or lanolin is the best product you can use.
- Use vaporizer in the rooms or toddlers’ rooms to keep the air moisturized.
- Since toddlers love to scratch a lot, you must trim their nails to reduce the scratches and irritations.
It is time to call the doctor.
Even though nose bleed heals on their own, it comes a time when you will need to call a doctor. Call a doctor if:
- If the toddler is bleeding because they have something inside their nose.
- If they are on medications that are new to them.
- If they have severe bruises even on other parts of the body.
- If they are bleeding on other parts of their mouth like the gums.
- If the bleeding has been over ten minutes and above, standard nose bleed should not take that long to stop.
After treatment procedure
Note, keep your child resting or in a quiet mode after nose bleeding. Always discourage them from inserting things in the nose, picking their nose, blowing the nose too hard, or even rubbing it too vigorously.
As a parent, the best thing you can do in such a situation is to understand your toddler’s nose bleeding pattern. Have the necessary knowledge and tips on handling it.