Nosebleeds, also called epistaxis, are very common in children. Most children ages 6-15 have at least one episode involving a nosebleed, though it’s less common in children under 5 and rarely occurs in children under 2.
In most cases, a nosebleed is minor and occurs as a result of trauma or dry air and will not require medical attention.
However, some may seek treatment for nosebleeds that are recurrent and unpredictable. When nosebleeds are recurring, it can be the result of allergies, crusting in the nose or a bacterial infection in the nose.
When medical attention is sought for nosebleeds, a provider will perform an exam and review the patient’s history, including frequency of nosebleeds, duration of the bleeding and whether the child often bleeds or bruises easily with minor traumas. The provider will examine the nasal cavity for the source of the bleed. In some cases, other tests may be necessary.
Often nosebleeds can be managed with lubricants or creams applied inside the nose. In rare cases, more invasive treatment such as ligation, surgery or posterior packing may be used to control the bleeding.
Rarely, recurrent nosebleeds can be a sign or symptom of more serious conditions such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease.