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A nosebleed can be on the scariest things to happen to a young child, especially the first time it happens. Nosebleeds, like many cuts to scalp or face, tend to bleed quite a lot and perhaps because its right there on the face, all that blood looks and feels like more than what it really is.

So, what causes a nosebleed, what can you do when one occurs and when SHOULD you panic? Here are some helpful tips to better prepare you for when these little emergencies happen.

A nosebleed most commonly occurs because the thin membrane in the lining of the nose becomes too dry. This can happen a lot in the winter time or any time if the person has been ill – like with a cold or sinus infection.

Another common cause of nosebleeds in children comes from small trauma, like nose picking or having a small object stuck up the nose. Children frequently scratch, pick or have a tendency to shove small toys into their noses and this in turn will tear that same mucous membrane often cause a minor nose bleed. The good news is that these types of nose bleeds will most often resolve quickly.

In rare instances, adults can get nose bleeds from certain medical conditions and medications they may be taking. Blood thinners are a common culprit – even aspirin is enough for many older adults to get a slight nosebleed. Again, in many cases these will resolve on their own without any medical intervention.

If a nosebleed does occur- here’s what you can do:

  • Sit, leaning slightly forward. DO NOT TILT THE HEAD BACK. Tilting the head back will cause the blood to run down the back of the throat and may lead to nausea/vomiting.
  • Pinch the nose gently.
  • Apply a cold compress to the top of the nose.
  • If the nosebleed is a result of injury (fall or blow to the face) or bleeding continues for more than 20 minutes, SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.