8 Unexpected Causes of Nosebleeds in Toddlers by Dr. Srikanta J T

5 min read

Written by Dr. Srikanta J T

Dr. Srikanta J T

Dr Srikanta J.T is a Interventional Paediatric Pulmonologist based in Bangalore with 12+ years of experience.

His expertise lies in Paediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Paediatric Interventional P More

nose bleeds in toddlers

As your baby grows into a toddler, you will notice that there is never a quiet moment. They keep running around, falling and hurting themselves, which can be a cause for worry. Besides, they end up falling sick sometimes too. Similarly, when you see them bleeding from the nose for apparently no reason (according to you), you tend to panic and might want to consult a doctor.  Nosebleeds in toddlers are common, especially among children aged 3-10.

Nosebleeds can occur due to various reasons, ranging from lack of humidity in the air to picking nose, to even allergies. While episodes of nose bleeds can be a cause for worry for parents, most times, they resolve on their own. In this article, we take you through the causes of nosebleeds, how to handle them, and when to see a doctor.

In This Article

What is a Nosebleed in Toddlers?

Epistaxis, the medical term for a nosebleed, is very common in toddlers. If your little one is experiencing a nosebleed, the bleeding will occur in one of the nostrils in the majority of cases. Also, it will be easier for you to stop the bleeding if your toddler experiences a nosebleed at the front of the nose. It will take a little longer to stop the bleeding if it is at the back of the nose.

Why Does My Toddler Have So Many Nose Bleeds?

As mentioned earlier, it is perfectly normal for your toddler to experience nose bleeds. Some toddlers have multiple nose bleeds in a week. Though it can be freighting, there is nothing to be worried about and it will stop in some time.

Common Causes of Nosebleeds in Toddlers

Causes Of Nosebleeds In Toddlers

Let’s take a look at some of the causes, starting from the most common ones to the ones most unexpected to understand them better so that we know when to rush to a doctor and when not to worry too much. The common causes of nosebleeds include:

1. Cold and Allergy

This is perhaps the most common cause and leads to swelling and irritation that might be the reason for the bleeding. Nasal congestion, sinus infections, or a bad cold could also be other causes.

2. Nose Picking

This could irritate the nose and expose blood vessels. Scratching could open the vessels and could cause bleeding.

[Read : Nose Picking In Toddlers]

3. Being Hit by Someone While Playing

Toddlers often end up fighting and hitting each other while playing together. A knock or a punch on the nose could cause bleeding.

4. Foreign Body

Toddlers often unknowingly push small things (like crayons) up their noses. This could cause irritation and bleeding.

8 Unexpected Causes of Nosebleeds in Toddler

unexpected causes of nose bleed

Nose bleeding is common in toddlers and is often not a cause for worry. While some reasons are innocuous, there are some unexpected reasons as well. Following are 8 unexpected causes of nosebleeds in toddler:

1. Sensitive Blood Vessels

If you live in a place where the climate is dry, the lining of your toddler’s nose might dry up too, and may be one of the causes of bleeding.

2. Bacterial Infection

The nasal lining inside the nose where the skin ends is prone to bacterial infections. This causes a sore just inside the nose and in front of the nostrils and sometimes could cause bleeding.

3. Anatomical Issues

At times any abnormal structure inside the nose could be a cause for crusting and bleeding.

4. Abnormal Tissue Growth

Sometimes there could be abnormal tissue growth in the nose. They may be benign but might cause bleeding. In such cases, you must consult a doctor.

5. Blood Clotting

Sometimes even commonly used medications might alter the blood clotting mechanism just enough to be a cause bleeding.

6. Long-Term Illness

Any illness which might require long-term medication or extra oxygen can dry out the lining of the nose and cause bleeding. Nose sprays used over extended periods could also be a contributing factor.

[Read : Are Nasal Sprays Safe For Kids?]

7. Extra Strain

Sometimes when preschoolers are constipated and they strain extra just to poop, it could lead to bleeding from the nose.

8. Serious Injuries

Getting knocked on the nose repeatedly could cause bleeding. This does not necessarily mean a fractured nose always.

How to Handle Nosebleeds in Toddlers?

Here are some practical tips to handle a toddler who’s bleeding in the nose:

  • Stay calm; don’t scare the kid.
  • Make sure your preschooler is sitting/standing. Tilt his head and make them blow the nose gently if they can.
  • Gently squeeze the soft part of the nose and keep holding it for about 10 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, repeat the process.
    But even after this if bleeding continues, you must see your pediatrician.
  • Don’t stuff cotton/tissues up your preschooler’s nose to stop bleeding.
  • You could apply ice on the bridge of the nose for temporary relief.

When to Call the Doctor?

when to call doctor

Call a doctor if:

  • Too much blood is lost.
  • Your toddler feels tired and sweaty and is not responsive.
  • Your little one is vomiting blood.
  • There is a watery liquid coming out of the nose along with blood.

Although as mentioned above, some toddler might have several in a week, this might not be dangerous if you consult a doctor on time and are aware of how to handle it well. Toddlers eventually grow out of it and therefore don’t fret too much over it.

Remember, if you are unsure about anything, it is better not to waste time and rush to the doctor to prevent anything from going down.

Did your toddler have nose bleeds? How did you handle it? Please do share your experience in the comments section below.


1. How Often Is Too Often For Nosebleeds?

The toddler should be brought under the care of a doctor if he or she experiences nosebleeds more than four times a week or if the bleeding does not cease even after applying pressure for 30 minutes.

2. Why Does My Kid Get Bloody Noses At Night?

Kids’ nosebleeds are usually caused by dry air. As a result, kids are more likely to suffer nosebleeds at night than during the day. Capillaries leak as the protective layers covering them is worn away during the night by inhaling and exhaling dry air through the nose.

3. What Stops Nosebleeds Fast?

You must first have the child sit upright. The blood vessels are located near the nostrils, so do not press on the bridge of the nose but instead on the soft front portion. Check to see if the bleeding has stopped after at least 10 to 15 minutes of pressure. Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the bridge of his/her nose if the bleeding has not stopped after 15 minutes.

4. Can Dehydration Cause Nosebleeds?

Nasal dryness is the main cause of nosebleeds. Dryness occurs when the body is dehydrated. Consequently, toddlers may experience nosebleeds if they are dehydrated.

Read Also: Does Your Child Hit Other Children?

Dr. Srikanta J T, MBBS, Diploma in Child Health (DCH), Diplomate of National Board(DNB), Fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine(NUH, Singapore), Training in Interventional Pulmonology
Consultant - Paediatric Interventional Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, ASTER CMI Hospital
10 years of experience

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