Occasional nosebleeds in children are common and usually require no follow-up medical treatment.
However, if your child experiences recurrent nosebleeds that don’t respond to other treatments, nasal cautery may be helpful.
Why is My Child Getting Nosebleeds?
There are many different causes of nosebleeds in children. Most are benign, while others may indicate a more serious health issue. Causes exist, but are not limited to:
- Picking their nose
- Blowing their nose too hard
- Colds or allergies
- Structural problems in the nose
- Certain medications
- Abnormal growth in the nose or sinuses
- Clotting disorders
- Blood vessel disorders
Seeking Medical Attention for a Bloody Nose
If your child’s nosebleed is especially heavy or cannot be stopped after 20-30 minutes, you should seek immediate medical attention. Additionally, if they experience more than four nosebleeds a week, they also require a medical evaluation.
Is There a Way to Prevent Nosebleeds?
Before opting for nasal cautery, your child’s doctor may recommend trying other treatment or prevention options. Depending on the cause of their nosebleeds, methods may include:
- Teaching your child to avoid picking or scratching their nose
- Treating any medical conditions that are causing nosebleeds
- Changing or discontinuing medications that contribute to nosebleeds
- Using a humidifier or nasal gels/sprays to decrease any dryness in the nose
If these methods don’t work, your child’s doctor will likely recommend nasal cautery.
How Does Nasal Cauterization Work?
Nasal cautery is a procedure where a chemical is applied to the mucous membranes in the nose to stop bleeding.
It is a quick procedure that often takes 5-10 minutes. It’s usually performed using a topical anesthetic while your child is awake. However, in instances where they are having additional procedures to treat other nasal issues at the same time, it may be performed in an operating room under general anesthesia.
In most cases, your child should be able to go home immediately following the procedure. They may be fussy afterward. It’s also common for minor nosebleeds and drainage to occur shortly after the procedure as part of the recovery process. If your child is in any pain, Tylenol or ibuprofen may be used.
For more information about how nasal cautery can help stop your child’s nosebleeds, call the experts at Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists.