How to prevent nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are common in children for the following reasons:

  • frequent colds
  • nose picking (and other injuries to the nose)
  • dry air (especially in the wintertime)
  • allergies

The reason these situations lead to nosebleeds is because they all irritate the lining of the nasal septum (this is the name of the cartilage that separates your nostrils).

The best way to prevent nosebleeds is to deal with the underlying condition. In addition, it helps to moisturize the lining of the nasal septum by rubbing a thin coating of petroleum jelly along the septum. (Some of my ear, nose, and throat colleagues prefer saline gel products that can be purchased without a prescription.) Most kids prefer to do this themselves because they do not want anyone “messing with” their nose. If your child falls into this category, show her how to do this by demonstrating the technique on yourself: the product can be applied with a cotton swab or with an index finger after your child washes his hands. Apply the lubricant once or twice a day as needed to keep the problem under control. If your child continues to get nosebleeds, discuss the situation with your doctor.

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