Bleeding From the Navel

Many times in newborns, a small amount of blood is noted on the navel after the cord falls off. As long as the bleeding does not make a spot on 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, contact your physician. Significant bleeding from the navel of an infant is extremely rare. If your child loses enough blood to soak a cloth diaper the size of a quarter, there is redness of the skin surrounding the navel or pus draining from the navel, contact your physician.

Bleeding From a Superficial Wound

Bleeding from an accidental cut or scrape can usually be managed by holding steady pressure over the site with a clean dry cloth. In the case of a deeper cut, the wound should receive immediate medical attention and pressure should be held on the area during transport.

Vaginal Bleeding in the Newborn

Occasionally, because of the effect of the mother’s hormones, infant girls will have a small amount of vaginal bleeding the first few days of life. This will stop spontaneously and requires no treatment.

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.

Moisturization of the nasal passages with saline (salt-water) nasal spray on a regular basis can help. Additionally, a child with recurrent nose bleeds can benefit from antibiotic ointment (Polysporin or Vasolene) applied to the inside of the nose with a Q-tip daily for several days.

To stop active nose bleeds, have the child sit up, and pinch the nose together or use an ice pack. 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 or if your child suffers chronic nose bleeds, contact your physician.

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, children with any type of rectal bleeding should be checked by your doctor.

Other types of bleeding such as blood in the urine, coughing up blood, wounds that fail to stop bleeding, etc., of course are potentially serious and your doctor should be notified.