Bleeding From the Navel: Many times in newborns, a small amount of blood is noted on the navel after the cord falls off. This is no cause for alarm. As long as the bleeding does not make a spot on the clothing larger than a quarter, it is of no significance. The navel should be kept clean with alcohol and the bleeding will usually stop on its own. If after two or three days the bleeding continues to be a problem, the child should have an office visit. Significant bleeding from the umbilicus of an infant is extremely rare. If your child loses enough blood to soak a cloth diaper the size of a quarter, you should call the doctor. Redness of the skin surrounding the navel or pus draining from the navel are also reasons for an office visit.
Vaginal Bleeding in the Newborn: Occasionally, because of the effect of mother’s hormones, infant girls will have a small amount of vaginal bleeding the first few days of life. This newborn menstrual bleeding will stop spontaneously and requires no treatment. It is not serious.
Nose Bleeds: Nose bleeds can be caused by dryness of the lining of the nose or by picking or rubbing the nose too vigorously. Allergies or upper respiratory infections may aggravate the problem. Having the child sleep with a vaporizer can decrease the dryness of the air, thereby decreasing the episodes of nose bleeds. Additionally, a child that has nose bleeds can benefit from Neosporin ointment or Vaseline applied into the nose with a Q-tip. To stop active nose bleeds, have the child sit up and pinch the nose together or use an ice pack over the bridge of the nose. After the bleeding stops, do not remove the clot from the nostril, as this may cause the bleeding to start up again. If the bleeding continues for more than ten minutes despite the above measures, contact our office or go to the nearest emergency room. Chronic nose bleeds should be evaluated in the office during regular office hours.
Rectal Bleeding: Rectal bleeding can be a more serious type of bleeding. Although it can be due to something as simple as a small tear around the rectum often seen in children with constipation, children with any type of rectal bleeding should be scheduled for an office visit during regular office hours. Food allergy can be a cause. There are other causes as well. If the bleeding is severe, more than just a few drops of blood coming from the rectum, the doctor should be notified at the time it occurs.
Wounds: If there is bleeding from a wound, apply pressure with a gauze sponge or with a clean wash rag directly on the wound with firm pressure. Even severe arterial bleeding can be stopped this way. Hold pressure until the bleeding stops. Call 911 or go to the ER if there is arterial bleeding: blood pulsating out of the wound or if the bleeding doesn’t stop in about 10 minutes.
Other types of Bleeding: Other types of bleeding such as blood in the urine, coughing up blood, etc., are potentially serious and you should notify the doctor.