Busted Lip on Toddler: Should You Panic? Remedies and What To Do


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[This post contains affiliate links. Please review my disclosure policy.] I never thought this day would come — having to deal with a kid who’s crying loudly because he busted his lip. I shouldn’t be surprised; I have a super active three-year-old who can’t stop jumping and running around this messy house. I’ve seen him go down, hit his head, stumble and scrape his knees and rarely would he cry. You know it’s really bad when he cries and when he slipped and fell one night, I thought it was just one of those minor accidents that resulted from his being all over the place. But no. This time, I saw bright red blood streaming down his mouth.

Kai was jumping and running around inside our small room and he stepped on his crayon case and fell faced down. Thought it was just another oops, but he cried hard and that’s when I saw how bad his lower lip got busted. That was the first time in three years for us to see that much blood from a boo-boo. It took a while for him to stop crying. Usually, he calms down easily but not that time.

After seeing the damage, my partner wondered if he needed stitches because it was Kai’s first serious injury that involved blood – and lots of it. I wondered the same thing. We are first-time parents and we’re clueless and we panicked for a moment there. Apparently, we weren’t prepared for it. As I write this, I realize we really need to prepare for incidents like this one because we have a spirited toddler.

But I think the mommy instincts kicked in because I knew then I had to get a pack of ice and apply pressure to it.

I just didn’t know if it required serious medical treatment like getting stitches since I’m not sure how big the cut was on his lip (I didn’t want to touch his lip area). But then after placing the ice, the bleeding gradually stopped and I thought, it mustn’t be that serious.

My man, on the other hand, couldn’t stop worrying. He’s a worrywart. And if you’re like him, you’d likely not stop researching about it. The fact is – children get minor cuts and wounds on the mouth and lips at some point, especially if you’re dealing with a spirited child. The good news is that they are usually treated at home with first-aid.

What To Do With A Busted Lip On Your Child

Calm your child.

I may have done a few things right after all because we got through. The first thing you need to do is to calm your child and let him or know that everything’s going to be okay and you’re going to help deal with the cut. I just hugged my little boy and told him it’s okay.

Gently clean the wound area.

I gave him a bath because he didn’t have a bath that time, and that also helped clean the wound area. As recommended by Stanford Children’s Health, wounds on lips should be washed with soap and water, without scrubbing the wound. Running the wound with faucet water will help remove dirt particles.

Apply an antiseptic cream or lotion to the wound.

In our case, however, I applied CJ’s Butter, because it’s like our go-to remedy for cuts, scrapes, bites and booboos. Kai knows that everything’s going to be fine with CJ’s Butter (no I’m not paid to write these words). Whenever he has itches or booboos, he tells me to put CJ’s on it. After I put the “miracle balm,” Kai slowed down his crying. A few minutes later, he asked to watch YouTube Kids.

(Note: CJ’s Butter has always worked for us since Kai was an infant. This post is not intended to be taken as a medical advice. If you’re unsure about the product, consult your doctor first.)

Reduce bleeding and swelling.

If not an ice pack, you can give your child an ice pop to suck on to help reduce the swelling and stop the bleeding. Surely, your kid won’t resist. A few moments after, we let Kai eat ice cream.

Wound monitoring

Check daily and keep the area dry and also avoid blowing on the wound. Doing so will introduce germs. To minimize scarring, apply sunscreen on the healed cut.

When To Call The Doctor?

If you’re a first-time parent, it’s easy to panic and think about bringing your child to the emergency. But hold up — most lip injuries look a lot worse than they actually are. The lips are rich in blood vessels that even minor cuts would result in heavy bleeding.

Mouth injuries like a busted lip are easily dealt with at home but there are certain situations where you’ll need to get the doctor involved. The following are guidelines from Stanford Health:

  • If bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of applying pressure
  • Deep or longer than 1/2 inch
  • Large cuts on the face
  • Caused by a puncture wound or dirty or rusty object
  • Embedded with debris, such as dirt, stones, or gravel
  • Ragged or have separated edges
  • Caused by an animal or human bite
  • Excessively painful or if you suspect a fracture or head or bone injury
  • Showing signs of infection, such as increased warmth, redness, swelling, or drainage

A day after getting a busted lip, it’s as if nothing happened.

Here’s our boy munching on an apple.

And he’s back to being super active, running around and jumping around. And we’re back to worrying.

Let me know your thoughts

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