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Dealing With Winter Nosebleeds

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

With winter in full swing, cold temperatures and heat running in the house the air is really dry. Not only does this cause lots of dry skin and chapped lips, it may also cause nosebleeds.

It is not uncommon for children to get occasional nosebleeds, and noses albeit small, may really seem to bleed a lot. If your child experiences a nosebleed in the middle of the night, which is not unusual, you will be convinced that some horrible trauma has occurred during the night, by virtue of the blood stains on the sheets. Once you check out your child you will realize that all of that blood came from the nose, and your child is perfectly comfortable, happy and there are no obvious injuries. Off they go to play while you get the job of changing the bloody sheets.

Once a child experiences a nosebleed it is not uncommon for it to re-occur, as there is a scab or clot in the nose and if the nostril is rubbed or picked on again, the clot dislodges and the nose will re-bleed. The nose is just like a scab on the knee, if you keep bumping or bothering that scab it will continue to bleed and seem to never get better.

Parents may also notice a small amount of blood from the nostril of a newborn or infant who has a cold after you have used a bulb suction to irrigate the nose. Again, it is just due to a small amount of nasal trauma and not to worry.

To help prevent nosebleeds during the dry, winter months, use a lubricant in your child’s nose. There are several nasal sprays that help and good old Vaseline seems to do the trick at our house. The jar comes out in November and goes up in March but helps keep dry noses a little less likely to bleed.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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