Question: I can never remember what to do when my child gets a nosebleed. What’s the protocol?
Answer: Whether your child’s nosebleed stems from trauma, like falling off her rollerblades, or from dry skin or nose-picking, you want to do the same thing: Have her sit down, lean slightly forward, and pinch the bridge of her nose for 10 minutes. This compresses the blood vessels to stop the blood flow. Make sure she doesn’t lean back or pinch her nostrils closed, which can cause blood to drip into her throat. You’ll also want to keep her from rubbing or touching her nose afterward because it might reopen the wound. If after 10 minutes of pressure blood is still flowing, call the pediatrician; her nose could be broken, or she may need more direct contact with the vessels to stop the bleeding. Your doc may do a nasal-packing, where a super-absorbent cotton device is inserted high up in the nose. The device absorbs blood and expands to put direct pressure on the wound. Don’t try this at home! Parents should never stick anything in their child’s nose — even toilet paper — to help stop a nosebleed.
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