Epistaxis overview

Epistaxis means bleeding from the nose. It also called as Nosebleed. The bleeding occurs mostly from one nostril. Fortunately, most nosebleeds are not serious and usually can be managed at home, although sometimes medical intervention may be necessary. They can occur at any age, but are most common in children aged 2 to 10 years.


The most common cause of nosebleeds in children is from minor trauma, typically from nose picking. Other commonly encountered conditions leading to nosebleeds includes: direct trauma to the nose, nasal foreign bodies, upper respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis, exposure to warm, dry air and nasal medications (such as, corticosteroids) etc.

What to Do

  • Have your child sit upright with head tilted forward and breathe through mouth.
  • Do not have your child lean back. Lying down can cause backflow of the blood in sinuses and throat which tastes bad and may cause gagging, coughing, or vomiting.
  • Stay calm and reassure your child. But, instead of becoming panic, gently pinch the soft part of nose firmly with the forefinger and the thumb for at least 10 minutes will stop the nosebleed in most cases.
  • Apply cold compress around the nose and cheeks with the help of ice cubes.
  • Consult to your doctor, if the nosebleed does not stop after 10 minutes, nosebleed after a head injury or fall or trauma accounts for some serious problem, if heavy, or accompanied by dizziness or weakness and if you are taking blood thinner medicines like warfarin or aspirin.

Tips for preventing recurrent nosebleeds

  • Have your child relax a while after a nosebleed. Blowing of nose should be avoided.
  • Once the bleeding from nose is stopped, the patient should take rest with head elevated. He is not allowed to lying down on back.
  • Do not pick the nose or put anything in the nose. So, keep your child’s nails short to prevent injuries from nose-picking.
  • Try to eat cool diets such as, cold juices or cold drinks. Avoid taking hot drinks like coffee or tea (for at least 24 hours of the last attack of nosebleed).