Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library


Nosebleeds can be a scary occurrence, but are usually not dangerous. The medical term for nosebleed is epistaxis. They are fairly common in children, especially in dry climates or during the winter months when dry heat inside homes and buildings can cause drying, cracking, or crusting inside the nose. Many times, children outgrow the tendency for nosebleeds during their teenage years.

The front part of the nose contains many fragile blood vessels that can be damaged easily. Most nosebleeds in children occur in the front part of the nose close to the nostrils.

What causes a nosebleed?

Nosebleeds are caused by many factors, but some of the most common causes include the following:

  • Picking the nose

  • Blowing the nose too hard

  • Injury to the nose

  • Over-dry air

  • Colds and allergies

  • Foreign body in the nose

Many times no apparent cause for a nosebleed can be found.

First-aid for nosebleeds

  • Calm your child and let him or her know you can help.

  • Pinch the nostrils together for 5 to 10 minutes without checking to see if bleeding has stopped.

  • Have your child sit up and lean forward to avoid swallowing blood.

  • Apply ice or a cold water compress to the bridge of the nose.

  • If bleeding does not stop, try the above steps one more time.

  • Do not pack your child's nose with tissues or gauze.

When should I call my child's health care provider?

Specific treatment for nosebleeds, that require more than minor treatment at home, will be determined by your child's health care provider. In general, call your child's health care provider for nosebleeds if:

  • You are unable to stop the nosebleed or if it recurs.

  • Your child also has a nose injury that may indicate a more serious problem (such as a fractured nose or other trauma to the head).

  • There is a large amount or rapid loss of blood.

  • Your child feels faint, weak, ill, or has trouble breathing.

  • Your child has bleeding from other parts of the body (such as in the stool, urine, or gums) or bruises easily.

  • A foreign body is stuck in your child's nose.

Prevention of nosebleeds

If your child has frequent nosebleeds, some general guidelines to help prevent nosebleeds from happening include the following:

  • Use a cool mist humidifier in your child's room at night if the air in your home is dry. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's advice for cleaning the humidifier so that germs and mold do not grow in it.

  • Teach your child not to pick his or her nose or blow it too forcefully.

  • Apply petroleum jelly inside the nostrils several times a day, especially at bedtime, to help keep the area moist.

  • Use saline (salt water) drops or a saline nose spray, as directed by your child's health care provider.

  • See your child's health care provider for treatment of allergies that may contribute to frequent nosebleeds.

Nosebleeds - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Last Review Date: 2015-04-13T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-05-04T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-05-04T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.