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First Aid For Nosebleeds

Even though nosebleeds are not usually a cause of worry, they could still be scary, especially as they could cause a lot of blood to flow. It's important to remember that rarely are nosebleeds a cause for alarm. 

How are they caused?

Anterior Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds usually occur when the blood vessels in the septum (separates the nostrils) break due to a blow, by picking the nose or even by harsh blowing of the nose. These are common in dry climates. They may even occur during winter, as the dry air from heaters could dehydrate the nasal membranes. Dryness may result in crusting, cracking, and bleeding. 

Posterior Nosebleeds
These begin high and deep within the nose, and can flow down the back of the mouth and throat. These nosebleeds are more common in adults, and are caused due to high blood pressure or an injury to the nose or head. 

What to do?

1. First, help your child stay calm. If your child is screaming, her blood pressure will be higher and the bleeding will continue longer. 

2. Make your child sit upright in a chair or lie back with her head elevated with the help of a cushion. Her head should be higher than the level of the heart. 

3. Do not have your child lean back. This may cause the blood to flow down the back of the throat and initiate coughing or even vomiting. Her head should be tipped slightly forward. 

4. Pinch her nose shut gently with your thumb and index finger.

5. Press the nose gently, but firmly, towards her face. Hold this position for a full five minutes without interruption - don't keep checking to see if the bleeding has stopped!

6. Alternatively, place a small piece of damp cotton into the nostril. 

7. Apply ice to your child's nose and cheeks.

8. Encourage your child to stay calm for a couple of hours following the nosebleed. 

9. Discourage blowing or picking of the nose. 

10. Apply a lubricant such as Vaseline inside the nostril, especially on the septum. 

How can I prevent further nosebleeds?

After the bleeding has stopped
Do not let your child bend down for a couple of hours. 
Do not let your child pick up anything heavy. 
Cut your child's nails so they don't scratch the septum. 

Call a doctor if
Your child is bleeding from both nostrils.
The nosebleed was caused by the blow to the head
Your child has something stuck up her nose which is not easy to remove.
Your child has difficulty breathing. 
The nasal bone may have been fractured. 
The bleeding lasts for more than 15 minutes and you are unable to stop it. 
Your child suffers from very frequent nosebleeds.

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