Nose Cautery for Nosebleeds in Children: What to Expect at Home

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Your Child's Recovery

Nose cautery can help prevent nosebleeds. The doctor uses a chemical swab or an electric current to cauterize the inside of the nose. This seals the blood vessels and builds scar tissue to help prevent more bleeding.

For this procedure, the doctor numbed the inside of your child's nose. After the procedure, your child may feel itching and pain in the nose for 3 to 5 days. Over-the-counter pain medicines can help with pain. Your child may want to touch, scratch, or pick at the inside of the nose. Watch your child carefully so you can stop your child from doing these things. They may cause more nosebleeds.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for your child at home?

Nose care

 
  • Don't let your child or others touch the part of the nose that was treated.
  • Help your child be careful not to bump their nose.
  • To avoid irritating the area, make sure that your child doesn't blow their nose for 2 weeks.
  • If your child gets another nosebleed:
    • Have your child gently blow their nose to clear any clots.
    • Have your child sit up and tilt their head slightly forward. This keeps blood from going down the throat.
    • Use your thumb and index finger to pinch the nose shut for 5 minutes. Use a clock. Don't check to see if the bleeding has stopped before the 5 minutes are up. If the bleeding has not stopped, pinch the nose shut for another 10 minutes.

Activity

 
  • Until their doctor says it's okay:
    • Don't let your child bend over, move quickly, or lift anything heavy.
    • Have your child avoid heavy exercise or activity.
  • Your child can do normal activities when it feels okay to do so.

Medicines

 
  • Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart any medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask the doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • Avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) while your child's nose is healing. They can increase the risk of bleeding.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has pain that does not get better after your child takes pain medicine.
  • Your child gets another nosebleed and the nose is still bleeding after you have pinched the nose shut 3 times for 10 minutes each time (30 minutes total).
  • There is a lot of blood running down the back of your child's throat even after you pinch the nose while your child tilts their head forward.
  • Your child has a fever.

Watch closely for any changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child still gets nosebleeds often, even if they don't last long.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.



The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.