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First Aid & Emergencies

Babysitting: Dealing With Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds mostly happen in the winter when the air is dry, though kids sometimes get nosebleeds after an injury or because of a medication. Nosebleeds can be scary, but kids get them a lot. Most will stop on their own and usually aren’t serious.

What to Do

If a child has a nosebleed:

  • Sit the child up with the head tilted slightly forward. Do not have the child lean back (this may cause gagging, coughing, or vomiting).
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose just below the bony part. Pinch for 10 minutes at a time.

Call the doctor if a child has a nosebleed that:

  • will not stop bleeding after pinching the child’s nose twice for a full 10 minutes each time
  • makes the child dizzy or pale
  • is caused by something put inside the child’s nose

Call 911 if:

  • a child has a nosebleed after a serious fall or head injury

Contact the child’s parents after you’ve called for help.

To help prevent nosebleeds:

  • Tell kids to not pick their noses.
  • Ask the parent(s) about using a humidifier during naps and bedtime.
  • Ask the parent(s) if the child has nosebleeds often and what triggers them.

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: April 2013