Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."


Question: My 8-year-old sometimes gets unexpected nosebleeds. Is this normal?

Answer: An occasional nosebleed happens, especially in children who have nasal allergies. In those children with the perpetual runny nose, a sudden change in temperature or drop in humidity can trigger fragile vessels in the nose to break. These vessels have a lot of blood supply, so it seems like a gusher when even a small blood vessel breaks.

When nosebleeds become bothersome or too frequent, your pediatrician may have you see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who may do cauterization. This procedure bonds vessels that are responsible for bleeding. Of course, whatever caused the bleeding in the first place i.e.: allergies, is still there, it can occur again. There are medicines and nasal sprays that can help, used as directed.

Repeated trauma to nasal tissue occurs with picking the nose. I almost always get a straight answer when I ask "which finger do you use when you pick your nose?" The response is an overwhelming show of the anatomically correct finger!

If your child tends to bruise easy, bleeds for long periods (more than 10-15 minutes at a time), bleeds from other areas such as the gums, see your child's doctor. Also, if there is a family history of bleeding or clotting problems, see your child's doctor. Certain types of bleeding problems can be hereditary.

Keep a record of nosebleeds with other medical history on your child. Communicate any concerns with the pediatrician.

Also see:

  • Does Strep Throat lead to Scarlet's Fever?
  • Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.