Treating minor ones
Although it is shocking to see blood running down someones face, a nosebleed is seldom serious. The tiny capillaries in the nose are delicate and can be ruptured by blowing the nose too hard. Usually a nosebleed starts when the nasal membranes are irritated by a cold or by chilly or dry air.
Pressure alone will usually stop a nosebleed long enough for a clot to form. Use your thumb to press closed the soft part of the bleeding nostril for 5 to 10 minutes. Breathe through your mouth during this period. For a child, gently pinch both nostrils shut.
If the bleeding continues, hold an ice bag or a cold compress on the bridge of the nose while applying pressure for another 10 minutes. If the bleeding still won’t stop, see a doctor.
When the bleeding stops, don’t blow your nose for 3 or 4 hours, and don’t remove the crusted blood; otherwise the bleeding may resume.
Caution: Do not try to stop a nosebleed that follows a head injury; the bleeding may be relieving pressure on the brain. Get medical help immediately.
Recurrent, spontaneous nosebleeds that are not associated with colds or dry air may be symptomatic of a serious ailment. See a doctor at once.