Nose bleeds are common in children and rarely cause significant issues
They occur because the blood vessels on the septum (the midline partition) become inflamed and tear easily with trauma. Usually this happens because of a local infection in the front of the nose called vestibulitis. This causes a build up of crust which can be itchy and when it comes away it leaves a raw area which then bleeds.
Nose bleeds are more common in older children (5-10 years) and often occur in the summer season or during the night because of allergy factors with an increased risk of infection because of itching or rubbing of the nose
Nose bleeds are rare in very young children and should be investigated
In an acute nose bleed you should press both sides of the nose just by the nostrils. This will result in pressure across the nasal septum and stop the bleeding. Pressing higher up by the nasal bones doesn’t really help.
Leaning forwards so that the blood comes out of the nose or if going down the back of the nose can be spat out. Swallowing blood makes you feel nauseous and throwing up will only increase your blood pressure making it more likely to bleed. Ice packs behind the neck can also help by causing the vessels to constrict.
To stop nose bleeds from happening it is best to avoid any finger nose contact and to apply antibiotic cream if the nose feels itchy or starts to bleed. Naseptin cream is commonly prescribed and is very effective as long as it is applied appropriately. Please note that it contains peanut oil.
Parents should know that it is not a permanent cure but may be used repeatedly for 4-5 days at a time when the nose bleeds occur.
In the event that the cream is not effective then it may be necessary to have the vessels that are bleeding cauterised (sealed).