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How are nosebleeds treated?

There are three simple steps to stop a nosebleed:

  • Stay calm.
  • Have your child gently pinch his or her nostrils together. Pressure is the best way to stop nosebleeds.
  • Sit while tilting slightly forward. This can prevent dizziness or swallowing blood.

During a nosebleed, it is also important to not tilt the head back or have the child lie down during a nosebleed, as the position may cause the child to swallow blood, which can induce vomiting. Placing ice over the bridge of the nose or forehead may cause a headache. In addition, stuffing the nose with tissue may restart the nosebleed when the tissue is removed.

To treat a nosebleed, you should first use your thumb and index finger to pinch firmly across the bridge of the nose. Make sure you do not tilt your head backwards, because the blood can drain into your stomach and make you sick. Be sure to keep your head held higher than your heart. You can do this by sitting upright. Hold this position for a minimum of five minutes.

The use of ice is recommended because of its ability to constrict the blood vessels and stop the bleeding. Avoid heat packs, high temperatures, or excessive movement.

If excessive bleeding persists over a long period of time, you may need to seek treatment from a physician.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Georgia College & State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

In treating a nosebleed, you can expect the doctor to compress the nostrils even if you did this at home. This usually takes care of the problem. If not, the doctor will do a thorough nasal exam to locate and identify the source of the bleeding. The doctor may use a more invasive method to stop the bleeding.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.