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Nosebleeding in Toddlers

by Sara Ipatenco, studioD

Nosebleeds can cause even the calmest parent to panic. The sheer amount of blood that can come out of your toddler's nose might look bad, but in almost all cases, nosebleeds are harmless, according to KidsHealth. Understanding the causes of nosebleeds can help ease your fears and enable you to administer the proper course of treatment. Call your toddler's pediatrician if the bleeding doesn't stop or if you're overly worried.


The medical term for a nosebleed is epistaxis, and it is fairly common among children. The definition of a nosebleed is simply bleeding from one or both nostrils. According to HealthyChildren.org, some preschoolers can have several nosebleeds each week, but almost all children experience occasional nosebleeds throughout childhood. Your toddler's nose has a major supply of blood, which is why it makes such a mess when she has a nosebleed. The amount of blood your child loses is usually minimal, however.


Nose-picking is a common toddler behavior, and it can cause a nosebleed if your child picks at the lining of his nasal passages too much. If you suction your toddler's nose to keep it clean, it can lead to bleeding, too, according to HealthyChildren.org. Dry air can also be a cause, according to MayoClinic.com, because it dries out the nasal passages, which increases the risk of bleeding. Nasal allergies, sinus infection, the common cold or a bacterial infection can also cause a nosebleed. Trauma or injury can cause a bloody nose, too. In rare cases, your toddler might have a blood-clotting problem so if she gets frequent nosebleeds, make an appointment with her pediatrician.

What to Do

According to KidsHealth, most nosebleeds can be treated at home. The exception is if your toddler's nosebleed lasts longer than 30 minutes or if you're worried she's losing too much blood. In these cases, call your child's pediatrician. Sit your child down and tilt her head forward. Squeeze her nose shut for about 10 minutes, which almost always stanches the flow of blood. If not, squeeze the nose for another 10 minutes, the HealthyChildren.org website recommends. AskDrSears also recommends squeezing the bridge of the nose.


If your toddler sustained an injury that caused the bloody nose, always seek medical attention immediately. If your toddler is having a hard time breathing with a nosebleed, call her pediatrician or go to the emergency room. Don't tip your toddler's head back while you're pinching his nose. This can cause the blood to run down the back of his throat, which can lead to upset stomach and vomiting. Don't stuff tissues or gauze up your toddler's nose to stop the blood either. Once the bloody nose stops, remind your toddler to take it easy for a while to help prevent it from bleeding again.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

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