Q: I have a 2-year-old daughter who scratches her nose a lot. She also wakes up with a bloody nose. Is it allergies? What should I do?
A: An itchy nose can be a sign of nasal allergy, or allergic rhinitis. A child who is bothered by such allergies frequently rubs her nose often enough and vigorously enough to create a crease a little way up from the tip at the place the bony part of the nose begins. Bloody noses are also common with allergies, because the lining of the nose, which has many, many blood vessels very close to the surface, is constantly irritated.
Most children with allergic rhinitis have other symptoms, too. They sneeze, and their noses run. Their nasal mucosa may be so swollen that their breathing sounds "stuffy," and they may choose to breathe through their mouths most of the time. They may snore when asleep. Often their eyes are red with dark circles.