Health Question: What Is Epistaxis?


image of dog with silly glass and nose propEpistaxis is the medical name for nosebleeds. Nosebleeds are common in children, especially with physically active children, as trauma to the face may occur, and many by allergies, blowing the nose with force, nose-picking or dry air.

Most nosebleeds begin in the nasal septum, the wall that divides the nose into two separate areas. They usually occur due to any trauma – bumps to the face – resulting in breaking capillaries. These blood capillaries are small and more delicate than veins and arteries and thus makes them more susceptible to damage.

    • When a nosebleed occurs, pinching the nose and leaning forward is best. Many nosebleeds are in the posterior and deep within the nose; leaning forward will prevent any blood from being swallowed.
    • Don’t have your child lie down.
    • Homeopathic Phosphorus 30c: Give the patient five pellets under the tongue as soon as possible.
    • Applying ice to the nose can be helpful as the ice will constrict the capillaries and stop the blood flow.

How to Prevent NoseBleeds


If recurrent nosebleeds occur, vitamin C and flavonoids will strengthen capillaries and make them less likely to rupture.

      • Vitamin C: Take 250 mg to 500 mg a day in divided doses.
          • Food sources: citrus
      • Flavonoids: Rutin and quercitin: Take 250 mg to 500 mg a day in divided doses.
          • Food sources: apples, berries, parsley, onions, pinto beans
      • Vitamin K has an important role in blood coagulation; therefore, if there is a deficiency, nosebleeds may be more chronic.
          • The most common foods with high vitamin K are green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce. These might not be a favorite with kids, but hiding them in smoothies and soups, can be a great way to get them to eat them.
      • Hydration: dehydration may be a cause of nosebleeds as well. Make sure your child is drinking water, and herbal teas to keep hydrated.
      • Food sensitivities: If your child gets chronic nosebleeds, it may be worth paying more attention to what they are eating, and if there is a pattern with food and nosebleeds. Being a food detective can be incredibly helpful.

Epistaxis is the medical name for nosebleeds, and they can be scary for both child and parent. They tend to come on quickly, and can last longer than we desire. As a parent, do your best to remain calm; I find taking deep breaths very helpful, as almost always, your patient will begin to do the same. This allows for easy fast treatment.


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Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

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