By Heather Legg
The pollen is still strong around here and lots of people, kids and adults alike are suffering from the allergic effects it causes. One often overlooked side effect is a nose bleed, caused from the irritation to the nasal passages from pollen. Kids are more prone to nose bleeds as the capillaries in their noses are less developed.
In fact, just the other day, my daughter had a gushing nose bleed, that got all over everything before we got it under control. She had also had some minor ones over the past week, maybe just a small amount here or there, but enough to take to her the school clinic a time or two.
Way back when we saw the ENT for this and he assured it was normal, though inconvenient. He gave us some advice, and I also have found some “old wives’ tales” remedies that may or may not work. First, here is what the doctor said:
• Never hold your head back. The flow of blood down your throat and or air passages could cause choking. You should tilt your head forward.
• Use saline nose drops. Only use saline because the prescription nose drops or stronger ones can damage the tender capillaries in the nose and actually cause nose bleeds. One reason they bleed is that they are dried out, and saline is natural moisture.
• Apply a thin coating of Vaseline to the inside of the nose. For the same reason as above, vaseline provides a protective barrier while at the same time adding moisture to the nose.
• Do not pick! Some kids are pickers and this can lead to nosebleeds or make them worse.
• Do not blow your nose during a nose bleed. As tempting as it may be, don’t blow your nose because the blood is trying to clot and by blowing it, it is unable to do so.
Here are some of the other things I found, some may work, some may not, but nonetheless, they are interesting to read:
• Put a copper penny in your mouth and with your tongue hold it to the roof of your mouth.( For about 2 minutes) This will stop your nose bleed. Please be careful not to swallow the penny, this would just be for adults, not children. (plus it’s sort of gross putting money in your mouth).
• Put ice on the nose and the back of the neck. The ice on the nose slows the blood (because of the cold), and the ice on the neck slows the blood flow to the head.
• Tear off a small piece of paper towel or kleenex, even a brown paper bag. Wet it and fold it into a rectangle, then place it right above the top front teeth on the gums. This should stop the bleeding. (This is what I did as a kid and it worked and it works for my kids, too.)