Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Use Personal Lubricant in Preventing Kids' Nose Bleeds

It was getting out of hand.  My daughter's nose was bleeding several times a day.  At school, on the bus, even in the middle of the night when she was fast asleep, my daughter was painting the town red.  As much as I appreciate Oxyclean, I wanted a solution that got to the source.
I spoke with a pediatrician who recommended cauterization.  I was told that these days cauterization is nothing, a two second, in-office procedure that doesn't even hurt. The ENT touches the troubling blood vessel with a tiny bit of a chemical and zap, no more trouble.  I scheduled an appointment.  However, during the office visit with the ENT, he explained that he does not find the chemical cauterization of singular blood vessels effective.

"I recommend you try other options first," he said,  "If you still elected to do cauterization, I will perform a liquid nitrogen cauterization that destroys all the blood vessels in one side of the nose.  Since this does hurt, it is done under general anesthesia. The downside is that blood vessels are supposed to supply the central nose membrane.  Without them, the membrane can develop a hole.  This will whistle.  Furthermore, the nose can eventually collapse."
"You had me at general anesthesia," I told the ENT.  "I want other options."
I explained to the ENT that for a time I had been using petroleum jelly.  It had helped but my daughter had started tasting it in her throat and we had stopped.  He informed me that petroleum based products were NOT good for the nose.   Instead he recommended water based, KY Jelly.  I went out immediately and purchased my daughter some personal lubricant.
I took the personal lubricant and the petroleum jelly and compared the two labels.  For the first time, I unfolded the one on the Petroleum jelly to read all the hidden instructions. "Warning," it read, "do not ingest.  If swallowed get immediate medical attention." If I had read that before I probably wouldn't have been putting it up my daughter's nose.  On the label of the personal lubricant there was nothing against ingestion.  It simply said, "Warning, does not contain spermicide."  I can live with that.
It has been several months.  Each night, I put a drop of KY Jelly on both sides of a q-tip and let my daughter apply to each nostril. She now rarely gets nose bleeds.  I never expected to be so thankful to personal lubricant this way!

A few more preventing nose bleed tips:
1. Make sure you keep your child's nails cut short.  Even if children never pick their nose, when the nose is healing from a nose bleed it can be itchy.  A scratch in their sleep can derail the healing. 
2. Use a cold mist humidifier, if their room is dry.
3. Check with doctor to rule out underlying condition, such as a sinus infection.

By Cara Eisenberg
Please visit www.caraaboutyou.com for information about Cara's children's books.