Sunday, February 12, 2012

Avoid, treat nosebleeds on hikes with kids

To stop a nosebleed, lean the head slightly forward and
punch just above the nostrils. Illustration courtesy of
Nosebleeds are not uncommon in children from two to 10 years old, and unless it was caused by a major trauma, such as running into a tree, it’s probably nothing to worry about. The typical reason for child nosebleeds is picking at it, but in the wilds, warm, dry air and rhinitis brought on by minor allergies to local plants can be a cause.

To prevent nosebleeds from occurring, the child should stop irritating the inside of the nose, such as not blowing it forcefully.

You can treat nosebleeds by having children lean their head slightly forward. Pinch just above the nostrils at the bridge of the nose, applying direct pressure for about 10 minutes. Spit out any blood in the mouth rather than swallowing it. To stop major nosebleeds, apply direct pressure as previously described. If that is ineffective, stuff gauze into the nostrils and seek medical attention. Don’t take out the gauze until seeing a medical professional.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.