A nosebleed is bleeding from the tiny blood vessels inside the nose. It may be caused by sneezing, nose-picking, strong nose blowing or trauma. As the colder winter months arrive, the air you breathe, both inside and outside, is drier. This drier air can be a trigger for nosebleeds.

Preventing Nosebleeds

  • Keep the lining of your nose moist.

  • Use nasal saline spray a few times a day.

  • Gently rub a small amount of petroleum jelly (Vaseline™), water-based lubricant, or saline nasal gel into each nostril using a Q-tip®. Do not insert Q-tip® further than the cotton on the stick.

Treating Nosebleeds

  • Tilt your head forward, so blood will not run down the throat.

  • Firmly pinch the soft part of the nose and keep pressure on for a full 10 minutes. Do not stop and look to see if the bleeding stopped during this 10-minute period. Repeat the 10 minutes of pressure if the bleeding does not stop.

  • Hold an ice pack on the bridge of the nose to help tighten the blood vessels.

If a nosebleed does not stop after two 10-minute periods, go to the nearest urgent care or ER.

Helpful Tips

  • Stay calm. Most nosebleeds are not serious and can be dealt with.

  • Sit down when treating a nosebleed. Do not lie down. This will allow the blood to flow down the back of the throat and cause vomiting.

  • Do not stick anything into your nose (such as tissues) to stop the bleeding.

Right after a nosebleed, continue with the recommendations in the “Preventing Nosebleeds” section. Do not stop those steps, even after a nosebleed.

Who to Call

If your child was seen in the Madison Pediatric ENT Clinic at the American Family Children’s Hospital, please call (608) 263-6420, option 3, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

If your child was seen in the Rockford Pediatric ENT at the Women and Children’s Hospital, please call (779) 696-8499, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

After hours, weekends or holidays, please call the Madison/American Family Children’s Hospital phone number. This number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the otolaryngology (ENT) doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

Toll-free number: 1-800-323-8942.