Medically referred to as epistaxis, nosebleeds occur most commonly amongst kids between 2 to 10 years of age in Singapore. Although nosebleeds can be alarming, it is rarely serious and naturally recovers on its own.
There are two kinds of nosebleeds: anterior nosebleed and posterior nosebleed. Anterior nosebleeds happen when the capillaries, or very small blood vessels, inside the front of the nose burst and bleed. Posterior nosebleeds refers to when blood flows backwards into the throat even while seated or standing. Posterior nosebleeds are more common in older adults who suffer from high blood pressure, and people who have had nose or face injuries.
Anterior nosebleeds are most commonly a result of dry air. Dry air, whether due to dry weather or heated indoors, dries the nasal lining. This causes crusts that itch and and bleed when your child picks or rubs his nose when it feels congested or itchy.
Other possible causes of anterior nosebleeds include:
Most nosebleeds can be stopped at home. However, you are advised to seek medical attention if your child suffers from nosebleeds more than once a week. Sometimes, children with ongoing allergies or who contract colds frequently might also experience perpetually irritated blood vessels inside the nose which do not heal.
While nosebleeds can cause quite a scare, try to stay composed as you follow these steps to treat your child’s nosebleeds:
If the bleeding continues after 10 minutes, you may apply petroleum jelly or vasoconstrictor nose drops onto a piece of gauze and insert it into the nostril for 10 minutes. Continue applying pressure to your child’s nose before removing the gauze for 10 minutes as well.
For nosebleeds caused by injuries, you should seek medical attention if the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes. In general, if your child is losing too much blood, starts feeling light-headed, or the bleeding lasts beyond 30 minutes, you should consult your doctor.
For bleeding not due to sinusitis or allergies, your doctor may order tests to determine the cause. It is very rare that nose bleeding is a symptom of a bleeding disorder or abnormally formed blood vessels.
Nosebleeds are not painful but the cause of the nosebleed might be accompanied with some degree of pain. For example, physically hurting your nose to the point of a nosebleed would cause some pain.
As most nosebleeds are caused by nose-picking or irritation due to dry weather, most nosebleeds are minor. However, you may adopt the following steps to reduce your child’s likelihood of getting nosebleeds:
In a very dry climate, a humidifier can help moisten the air in the bedroom and reduce the chances of your child getting an overly dry nose.
Avoid Aspirin, however, because it can increase the tendency of the body to bleed easily for up to a week and prolong each nosebleed.
In children, two types of cautery are commonly used:
If your child has nasal allergies, antihistamines can help alleviate the itching, and hence bleeding caused by excessive scratching.