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I am a worried parent

I am a worried parent

Is my child bleeding too much?

Are you worried about your child’s recurrent nosebleeds? Does your child bruise more easily and more often than his or her peers? Has your child bled longer than expected after a recent visit to the dentist or a minor surgery? Are you concerned that your daughter’s periods may be too heavy?

There are many reasons why your child may bleed from time to time. Children play and explore the world around them. In doing so, accidents are unavoidable, and sometimes your child will have bruises or a small wound after such an accident. Occasionally, an injury that occurred without an accident may also lead to bleeding. In most cases, our bodies will stop the bleeding quickly through a process called blood clotting. However, some children bruise more easily and bleed more often than others. Fortunately, this kind of bleeding can often be treated or prevented. If you are worried because your child seems to bleed too often and too easily, it is important to first identify the cause and then choose the proper treatment.

Causes for frequent bleeding in children

Finding the reason for your child’s bleeding symptoms is not always straightforward, because there are so many possible reasons for bleeding. Nosebleeds, for example, may be caused by picking one’s nose, dry air, an injury, a cold or an allergy, or simply from blowing one’s nose too hard.1 Bleeding from the mouth may also be caused by an accident, losing a baby tooth, biting oneself or inflammation of the gums.2 Frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums may also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, for example an underlying bleeding disorder. In general, bleeding disorders are rare. Unfortunately, the most common hereditary bleeding disorder, von Willebrand disease (VWD), is often undiagnosed. Without diagnosis and treatment, children with VWD may experience serious bleeding. Besides frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums, the most common bleeding symptoms in children with VWD are easy bruising, and prolonged bleeding from minor wounds and after tooth extractions or surgery. As girls with VWD enter puberty, heavy menstrual bleeding becomes the most common symptom.3

Bleeding symptoms in the family

Hereditary bleeding disorders often affect several members of a family across generations. If one of the parents, the grandparents or other relatives also show signs of excessive bleeding, you may wonder if the bleeding you observe in your child is normal. However, if the bleeding or bruising affects the well-being of your child, you should discuss the symptoms with your doctor.

Find out if your child’s bleeding is normal

How much bleeding is too much? Since this is a difficult question to answer, doctors have developed tests that can help assess bleeding symptoms. On, you can take one of these tests. If your child has recurrent nosebleeds, bruises easily or is showing any other of the bleeding symptoms above, we highly recommend that you take few minutes to take the test. The test is a short questionnaire on signs and symptoms of a possible bleeding disorder, and the result will tell you if you and your child should see a doctor.

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