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How do I stop a nosebleed?
Q: I was at the playground with my 3-year-old son when he started having a nosebleed. Other parents rushed over to give me advice on how to stop the nosebleed-all of it different. What is the best way to stop a nosebleed?”
A: It’s wonderful that other parents at the playground wanted to help you stop your son’s nosebleed. But, unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about the best way to do it. Here’s what the health experts say is the best way to stop a nosebleed:

1. Stay calm. Nosebleeds are rarely dangerous.

2. Have your child sit down and tilt his head slightly forward. If he tilts his head backward, the blood is more likely to drain down his throat, which can make him cough or vomit.

3. Firmly pinch the lower part of your child’s nose, the soft part around the nostrils, and hold it for 10 minutes. This is where most nosebleeds start. The pressure and time help the blood clot, which should stop the nosebleed.

4. After 10 minutes, release the pressure and observe your child. If the bleeding continues, pinch his nose for another 10 minutes.

5. Call your child’s doctor or go to the nearest emergency room if:

  • The nosebleed continues after 20 minutes of pressure.

  • Your child is bleeding from the mouth, or coughing up or vomiting blood.

  • Your child is pale, sweaty, or not responsive.

Karen Sokal-Gutierrez M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician