There are various causes for a chronic nosebleed. Most children are likely to experience at least one episode of nosebleed or more during the early years. Some preschoolers have several episodes in a week. Remember that this is neither irregular nor critical but can be frightening for most parents.
In case the blood moves down from the rear part of the nose into the mouth and throat, the child might swallow a large amount which can lead to vomiting.
Possible causes of chronic nosebleed
There are various causes of chronic nosebleed which are not serious such as:
- Common cold and allergies – these conditions can cause swelling and irritation within the nose which results to continuous bleeding.
- Trauma – a child can end up with a nosebleed from picking on his/her nose, inserting an object inside or blowing too hard. Bleeding can also occur if the child was struck in the nose by a ball or other objects or from a fall.
- Low level of humidity or exposure to irritating fumes – if the house is excessively dry or living in an area with a dry climate, the lining of the nose might dry out, thus making it more likely to bleed. If the child is continuously exposed to toxic fumes, it can lead to a chronic nosebleed.
- Anatomical issues – any irregularities within the structure within the nose can result to crusting and bleeding.
- Abnormal growths – the presence of abnormal tissue in the nose can lead to bleeding. Even though most of these growths are benign, they require immediate treatment.
- Abnormal blood clotting – if there is anything that disrupts with the blood clotting process, it can result to a nosebleed. Certain medications even aspirin can alter the blood-clotting mechanism which leads to episodes of bleeding. Even blood conditions such as hemophilia can also be a trigger.
- Chronic conditions – children with long-term illnesses or require additional oxygen or other medications that dries out the nasal lining are likely to experience nosebleeds.
- Try to stay calm even if a nosebleed can be frightening. Remember that it is rarely serious.
- The child should stay in a seated or standing position. Tilt his/her head slightly forward and instruct to gently blow the nose if old enough.
- Hold the lower half of the nose between your thumb and finger. Hold firmly for up to 10 minutes. If the child is old enough, he/she can do this. Do not release the nose during this period to check if bleeding is still present. Let go after 10 minutes and wait while keeping the child quiet. If the bleeding persists, repeat this step. In case the bleeding does not stop after another 10 minutes of applying pressure, consult a doctor or bring the child to the nearest emergency department.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on chronic nosebleed is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage nosebleeds, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.