"The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nosebleeds if I kept my finger outta there." - Ralph Wiggums, The Simpsons.
Ralph's doctor is right because too much nose picking is one of the main reasons kids get nosebleeds. So if a kid in class suddenly starts getting a bleeding nose - there's a pretty good chance he's been doing some serious nasal excavation. Nosebleeds are messy, look gross and can be uncomfortable - but they're really not a big deal.
What Causes Nosebleeds?
The most common type of nosebleed is an anterior nosebleed. That means it starts at the front part of the nose from one nostril. This happens when the tiny blood vessels that line the inside of your nose break. This can be caused if the vessels are scraped, ripped or irritated from nose picking, from being punched in the nose or from hitting your nose hard on something. Your blood vessels can also break if the lining of your nose gets dried out by really dry air.
What to Do if You Get a Nosebleed?
- Grab a tissue or cloth, or your sister's favorite dress to catch the blood.
- Tip your head forward. Don't lean your head back or all the blood will run down your throat.
- Pinch the soft part of your nostrils together for ten minutes, without stopping. (Don't forget to breathe through your mouth.)
- Don't pick, rub or blow your nose. This will only make it worse.
- You should see your doctor if the nosebleed was caused by a hit or a fall, if it doesn't stop bleeding after 30 minutes, or if you start to feel faint or dizzy.
- Don't pick your nose! It may be tempting to try and pull out that nice, juicy, booger - but the more you pick, the more likely you are to start bleeding.
- Use a humidifier in your room to moisten the air.
- Wear proper safety gear, like helmets and visors when you're playing sports.