Skip to main content

Why do kids get nosebleeds and when should parents worry?

Find out how common of an issue this and how to take care of it

Little girl blowing her nose
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Seeing blood coming out of your child’s nose is a frightening sight, especially if it seems to come out of the blue. Nosebleeds are pretty common in kids and teens. Some get nosebleeds more frequently than others, which often leaves parents worried. Most nosebleeds aren’t a cause for concern, but experiencing them does lead to questions.

First off, how should a parent stop a nosebleed? Do you pinch the nose? Put your child’s head back or forward? Once they get their child’s nosebleed to stop, parents are left wondering what caused the nosebleed. Let’s get to the root of these often-Googled questions, so if your kiddo has a nosebleed, you will know exactly what to do.

A young girl picking her nose with her mother in the background looking grossed out.
Nomad-Soul / Shutterstock

What causes nosebleeds?

Most of us have experienced nosebleeds. They’re certainly unsettling in adults, but even more so with children. At some point, though, your kiddo is probably going to come to you in a panic because of a nosebleed. Most nosebleeds in children are anterior, meaning the blood is coming from the front of the nose. The cause is typically broken or irritated blood vessels inside the nose. Posterior nosebleeds come from the back of the nose. These are very rare in kids.

Nosebleeds can happen at any age in kids and teens. Most nosebleeds aren’t cause for concern, though they can look terrible. Here are the most common causes of nosebleeds in kids.

  • Injury: Kids are kids. So, sometimes, someone gets an elbow in the nose by accident or gets hit with a ball.
  • Dryness: Very dry air in the house in the winter or any time of year can dry out the membranes of the nose and cause a nosebleed.
  • Picking: Most people have picked their nose from time to time, but kids are fascinated by it. Constantly picking the nose can lead to nosebleeds.
  • Colds: Congestion from a cold and frequent nose blowing can cause irritated noses to bleed.
  • Allergies: Just like a cold, noses constantly inflamed from allergies can bleed.
  • Nasal sprays: Over-the-counter and prescription nasal sprays used to relieve congestion from colds and allergies can make noses bleed.
  • Infection: Sinus infections and other bacterial infections impacting the nasal membranes can be a cause of nosebleeds.
A young child having help blowing his nose.
HelloRF ZCool / Shutterstock

How to stop a nosebleed

When your child’s nose is bleeding, it’s definitely scary. The first thing to do is to take a deep breath and stay calm. Then, take these steps to stop the nosebleed.

  • Sit your child in a chair or on your lap, leaning forward.
  • Pinch the front part of the nose with a clean tissue or cloth for 10 minutes.
  • Avoid looking to see if the bleeding stopped. Keep the gentle pressure going.
  • Don’t have the child put their head back. You don’t want the blood running down the throat.
  • Once the bleeding stops, clean up the face, but avoid blowing.
  • Remind your kiddo not to pick or blow their nose.
  • Have your child relax for a while after a nosebleed.
Teen girl talking with a doctor
fizkes / Shutterstock

When to call the doctor

Of course, nosebleeds are scary, but they are common in kids and teens. Most nosebleeds will stop in 10 minutes by applying gentle pressure. Sometimes, nosebleeds may be a cause for concern and warrant a call to your pediatrician or a visit to urgent care. Here’s when you should reach out to a medical professional for nosebleeds.

  • If your child injured their nose in an accident or sporting activity and the bleeding won’t stop after 10 minutes.
  • Kids sometimes stick things up their nose, which may cause bleeding. If this happens, give your doctor a call, especially if the object is sharp.
  • If the nosebleeds seem to be particularly heavy and slow to stop.
  • Frequent nosebleeds.
  • A nosebleed is accompanied by dizziness or tiredness.

Nosebleeds are frightening, especially when it’s your kiddo having one. Try not to worry, though. Most nosebleeds aren’t anything to be concerned about. The most important thing is to stay calm for your child’s sake. Then, follow the steps for how to stop a nosebleed. Nosebleeds are usually caused by dryness, picking, illness, or injury. Sometimes, with frequent nosebleeds or ones that won’t stop, it’s time to reach out to your pediatrician. Whenever you have a question or a concern about your child’s nosebleeds, talk to your doctor.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
12 life skills kids need to know before high school
Things you learned as a child to pass on to yours
Two kids washing dishes

As parents, we are our children's first role models. It's from Mom and Dad that kids learn all the important life skills they need to live independently when they head off to college or to live on their own. From eating healthy and exercising to not running up credit card bills they can't pay off; parents impart all sorts of vital wisdom kids take with them when they leave home for the first time.

The problem is waiting until it's time to start filling out the applications to squeeze in all those necessary life lessons. Instead, start early. Kids love to imitate adults. So, what are the major life skills your kids need to know before high school rolls around?

Read more
We love these easy, healthy snacks for kids
Simple ways for kids to snack and stay healthy
Two children are making a snack in the kitchen

When it comes to kids, snacking is life, which is why parents do everything they can to have easy, healthy snacks for kids in the house. Kids tend to like anything quick and easy to grab, which can often mean prepackaged, sugary treats or an endless variety of crackers.

While most parents endeavor to feed their children healthy snacks, they don't always have the time to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are on hand. If you're trying to up your snack game or are simply looking for some fresh inspiration when it comes to easy, healthy snacks for your kids, look no further. We've compiled some of the super simple yet nutritious snack ideas the whole family is sure to love.

Read more
Why do toddlers cry in their sleep and how can you help them?
Learn the facts so everyone gets a good night's rest
A toddler sleeping in the bed.

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night to your toddler's cries, only to discover by the time you've run to check on them they are back asleep? If so, you're not alone. If your typical happy-go-lucky toddler is suddenly crying out in their sleep, it may make parents worried something may be wrong. As if toddler behavior isn't difficult enough to figure out when they're awake, parents need to know why toddlers cry in their sleep.

The good news is toddlers crying in their sleep is a normal part of their development and doesn't mean there's anything troubling your child you should be concerned about. In fact, this behavior has a variety of different causes. Learn some of the reasons why toddlers cry in their sleep and if there's anything to do to help prevent it, so everyone gets a good night's sleep.

Read more