Though they’re not usually a serious medical concern, nosebleeds in children can be frightening and socially disabling. Nosebleeds at school, friends’ houses or birthday parties can be quite disruptive, as many people are scared of blood and often nobody really knows what to do about it.
What causes nosebleeds?
Almost all nosebleeds are caused by a drying of the nasal mucosa. The inside of our noses is lined by mucosa — the same moist tissue that lines our mouth — and just like in our mouths, constant airflow around that mucosa can dry and irritate it.
Considering the fact that we breathe through our nose all day every day, it’s pretty remarkable that everyone isn’t walking around with constant nosebleeds. …
Photos by Katherine C. Cohen
On an unseasonably warm day in February, the sun shines brightly at Clasky Common Park, a New Bedford town gem with views of the river. Twenty-one-year old Sharieff Hester sports a pair of cherry-red shades and a big smile. He walks confidently around the park, his father and sole caretaker David Hester dutifully following behind, checking in often. “Are you cold son?” he asks. Sharieff answers through his tracheostomy, “I’m fine, Dad.”
David stops to adjust his son’s scarf and offer him a sip of water. “We have a routine every morning. The first thing I do is hug Sharieff and tell him how much I love him. Then I make sure his trach is clean and dry, and we say a prayer together.”
Sharieff has been cared for at Boston Children’s Hospital since his birth in 1994. His main diagnoses are Arthrogryposis, a rare congenital condition characterized by stiff joints and abnormally developed muscles; Klippel-Feil syndrome, a rare birth defect that causes some of the neck vertebrae to fuse together; restrictive lung disease; and pulmonary hypertension. …