A nosebleed usually comes on suddenly, with blood flowing freely from one nostril. Most nosebleeds stop by themselves within a few minutes.
Use these steps for stopping a nosebleed:
Stay calm; the nosebleed is probably not serious, and you should try not to upset your child. Your child will pick up on your emotional cues.
Keep your child sitting or standing and leaning slightly forward. Don't let him lie down or lean back because this will allow blood to flow down his throat and might make him vomit.
Don't stuff tissues or another material into the nose to stop the bleeding.
Firmly pinch the soft part of your child's nose—using a cold compress if you have one, otherwise your fingers—and keep the pressure on for a full 10 minutes. Don't look to see if your child's nose is bleeding during this time; you may start the flow again.
If bleeding hasn't stopped after 10 minutes, repeat the pressure. If bleeding persists after your second try, call your pediatrician or take your child to the nearest emergency department. See Chronic Nosebleeds: What to Do.
Call your pediatrician right away if:
Your child is pale, sweaty, or not responding to you.
You believe your child has lost a lot of blood.
Your child is bleeding from the mouth or vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds.
Your child's nose is bleeding after a blow or injury to any part of the head.
While most nosebleeds are benign and self-limited, a child with severe or recurrent bleeding or bleeding from both nostrils should be evaluated by a pediatrician. If necessary, your child will be referred to a pediatric otolaryngologist (ENT) specialist.
Causes of nosebleeds:
Nosebleeds are unlikely to signal serious illness, although bleeding can result from injury. Children may cause bleeding by picking their noses; toddlers often injure the nasal membranes by forcing objects into their nostrils. Children are especially prone to nosebleeds during colds and in the winter months when the mucous membranes become dry, cracked, and crusted or when a chronic condition such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever) damages the membrane.
A child with a chronic illness that causes forceful coughing, such as cystic fibrosis, may have frequent nosebleeds. And parents of children with clotting disorders such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease, should be vigilant about harmful habits such as nose-picking.
If your child's nosebleeds last for longer than 8 to 10 minutes routinely, your pediatrician may wish to test for a blood clotting disorder.