Why does my child keep having nosebleeds?

What you need to know about this alarming, though usually harmless, childhood problem.

Nosebleeds have been a part of 5-year-old Hansel’s life for as long as he can remember. The first time he bled, he was just under a year old.

Recalls his mum Marissa Lee, “I noticed some streaks of blood on his pillow and pyjamas in the morning, then realised it came from his nose.”

She adds that the nosebleeds would occur around two to three times a month on average. Some days, the bleeding would be severe, other days, it would be light. Whenever Lee brought Hansel to the paediatrician, she would be told that his blood vessels were thin at his young age, so any irritation or dryness would trigger the bleeding.

“It has happened a few times at his childcare centre, so they know what to expect and how to handle it. I was told it’s quite common and as long as it is not a sign of something more severe, we are okay in managing it,” she notes.

“There was just so much bloody tissue paper all around us.”

The only challenge, Lee says, was managing it when they were in public. Once, about two years ago, Hansel had a severe nosebleed at an indoor playground, which frightened other parents and children.

“He was busy playing, so didn’t notice, and the blood basically flowed very quickly before anyone had time to react and his T-shirt was soaked,” she recalls. She pinched the top of her son’s nose and placed an ice pack on it, but the blood continued to flow.

“Usually the bleeding stops in 5 to 10 minutes, but this time it didn’t ― there was just so much bloody tissue paper all around us. In the end, one of the staff produced a disposable cup and we let the blood flow into that,” she says. Hansel had to sit at the side with a cup under his nose for almost half an hour before the bleeding subsided.

Thankfully, Hansel rarely has severe nosebleeds these days, and Lee has her fingers crossed that he is outgrowing the condition. “He does still get it once in a while, but it’s usually quite light, and happens when he is sniffly or has a cold.”

Nosebleeds are common, but usually nothing to worry about. Find out what causes them… next!