Nosebleeds in toddlers are rather common and usually not serious. Your toddler may have frequent nosebleeds for many reasons, some of which could indicate a more serious underlying condition. If you're concerned about your toddler having nosebleeds, talk with his doctor before administering any medicines or home treatments.
Nosebleeds involve bleeding from the tissue that lines the inside of the nostrils. Most nosebleeds in children occur due to environmental changes like cold, dry air and low humidity, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Irritations to the nasal tissues from smoke or chemical fumes can also cause nosebleeds. Nosebleeds are also common when your toddler has a cold or during the winter when the air is drier, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Your child could have nosebleeds due to allergies or sinusitis as well. Other causes for nosebleeds in children include injuries to the nose, inserting objects into the nostrils and excessive nose picking.
Frequent nosebleeds that occur at least once each week can indicate other chronic health problems in your toddler, the Mayo Clinic says. Your child could have a deviated septum or nasal blockage that's causing the nosebleeds. In some cases, frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of a condition like high blood pressure, hemophilia or a similar bleeding disorder, or hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), also called Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Your toddler could have nosebleeds due to nasal polyps, kidney or liver disease, leukemia, thrombocytopenia or von Willebrand's disease, states the University of Michigan Health System. Consult your toddler's physician she is experiencing frequent, chronic nosebleeds to rule out these potential underlying conditions.
If you live in a dry climate or at a high altitude, your toddler is likely at a greater risk of having frequent nosebleeds, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Other risk factors for nosebleeds include overexposure to chemical irritants and nasal decongestant sprays, as well as having a nose injury or surgery and the use of aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs like Coumadin.
Consult a doctor if your toddler has frequent nosebleeds, has bleeding that doesn't stop after 20 minutes or more or has a nosebleed due to an injury, the Mayo Clinic says. Nosebleeds involving an excessive amount of blood can also be a concern that requires medical attention.
When your toddler has a nosebleed, pinch his nose to keep both nostrils closed for about five or 10 minutes to help staunch the bleeding, the Mayo Clinic advises. Have your toddler sit upright, leaning forward to prevent him from swallowing the blood and to decrease blood pressure in the nose. Don't have your child tip his head back, but instead try to calm him to prevent crying from increasing the bleeding, recommends the University of Michigan Health System. Repeat this process again until the bleeding stops. If the nosebleed doesn't subside after 20 minutes or longer, call your child's doctor, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. After the bleeding stops, don't allow your toddler to blow or pick his nose for at least a few hours and have your child rest or avoid physical exertion for at least one hour.
If your toddler experiences frequent nosebleeds, you can take certain preventive measures to reduce the number of nosebleed episodes. Keep the air inside your home slightly cooler in the winter to prevent the air from becoming excessively dry, and use a humidifier or vaporizer in your home to keep the air more humid, recommends the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You can also apply petroleum jelly or other lubricating ointments to the inside of your child's nose to keep the tissues from drying out and causing a nosebleed. A water-soluble nasal gel or saline spray could also help to prevent nosebleeds, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Additionally, try to keep your toddler from picking or blowing her nose too much.