Sunday, January 8, 2012

Preventing Nosebleeds During Cold Weather

Preventing Nosebleeds

Preventing Nosebleeds During Cold Weather

QUESTION: With the cold weather, an ever recurring problem has returned. My
eight year old son gets frequent nosebleeds which scare me to death. I guess
it's the sight of all that blood. What can be done to prevent them, and how
should they be handled when they do occur?

ANSWER: Many people experience the same emotions whenever blood appears, but
a little knowledge can go a long way here in helping you to prevent these
frequent episodes. I have nothing but good news for you, since most
nosebleeds are without serious consequences, particularly in children. There
are two types: Anterior, where the bleeding is in the front part of the nose,
and usually appears in one nostril or the other; and Posterior, where the
origin of the bleeding is deep in the nose. In the case of a posterior bleed
the blood runs through the back of the mouth and down the throat. Posterior
nosebleeds may be quite serious, usually occur in older people, and require a
physician's attention. In children, however, the bleed is of the anterior
type, are most common in the winter because the air is cold and extremely dry,
and so removes the natural moisture of the nasal membranes so that they crust
and crack. By using a bit of cream or ointment (such as Vaseline or A and D
ointment) inside the nose before exposure to the elements you provide another
coating to the sensitive inner lining and prevent the nose bleed. To treat
one that has begun simply pinch all the soft parts of the nose together, then
press backwards to compress the pinched parts of the nose against the bones of
the face. You must hold this for a minimum of five minutes to be effective,
and should keep your son sitting in an erect position. An ice pack against
the nose and cheeks may also help. If this doesn't work then it's off to the
doctor, who can stop the flow by cauterizing the bleeding vessel.