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Nosebleeds in Children
Nosebleeds in children can be an anxiety-provoking event, both for the parent and the child. However, most nosebleeds in children are self-limiting and benign, and can typically be managed at home. As in adults, more than 90% of nosebleeds in children originate anteriorly.
Nosebleeds in children usually occur between 2 to 10 years of age. Nosebleeds in infants, however, are unusual and require further evaluation by a health care practitioner. Though most nosebleeds in children are spontaneous and occur infrequently, some children may experience more frequent, recurrent nosebleeds.
The most common cause of nosebleeds in children is from minor trauma, typically from nose picking. Direct trauma to the nose, upper respiratory infections, nasal foreign bodies, allergic rhinitis, exposure to warm, dry air and nasal medications (for example, corticosteroids) are also other commonly encountered conditions leading to nosebleeds. Less common causes of nosebleeds in children include vascular malformations, leukemia, nasal tumors, and various blood clotting abnormalities. An accidental ingestion of blood-thinning medication (for example, warfarin [Coumadin]) is also a rare cause of nosebleeds in children.
The treatment for nosebleeds in children is similar to that of adults, which will be covered in a subsequent section. The prognosis in children is generally excellent, with nosebleeds caused by serious underlying medical conditions carrying a variable prognosis.
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