By Dr. Brown
Nose bleeds can usually be handled easily. Once your child gets a nosebleed, there is a tendency for them to recur. Here are a few tips when they recur:
1. Pinch the nose firmly as if you were going to jump into the river and did not want to get river water up your nose. Hold for 5 minutes.
2. Let go and if still bleeding, pinch again for 5 more minutes.
3. Let go again and if still bleeding, pinch for 5 more minutes.
4. Let go. If your child's nose is still bleeding, call us.
Most nose bleeds are from scratching with sharp nails (short or long ones). So, cut the nails and file them. Nose bleeds tend to recur. Usually there are three, about a day or two apart. This happens because the scab falls off and re-bleeding happens. The second bleed is smaller and the third is generally tiny as the final scab falls off. Risks for nose bleeds include being an adolescent boy. The male hormones make the nasal mucosa vulnerable to even trivial trauma. If nose bleeds are excessively frequent, we can cauterize the nose with Silver Nitrate. This is nearly painless and usually works. Upper respiratory illnesses like a cold can also make the nose easily irritated and prone to bleed as can very dry air like winters in Chicago.
Placing a little Vaseline on the septum just inside the nostrils can help prevent nosebleeds by keeping the scab on the area of the previous bleed. Keeping the air humid is especially helpful in the winter.
There is a lot of bad advice on treating Nosebleeds:
Pinching or pushing high on your nose does no good. Putting a cold rag on your forehead also does nothing. Ice on your upper lip only freezes your upper lip. Ice on your neck is useless. Use the squeeze technique!!!