Do your children’s lips always seem to be a little chapped and a bit dry? You’re not alone! Chapped lips amongst little-ones is actually very common and while it’s usually harmless, it can cause pain and discomfort.
As parents, seeing our little ones in pain can be quite upsetting, but the good news is that we’re not helpless in these situations. Understanding how to get rid of chapped lips in children is actually very simple and there are many ways we can help ease the pain and relieve discomfort using safe methods that are great for kids.
What Causes Dry Lips in Children?
Children can have dry lips for many different reasons. Before jumping into treatment head first, it’s important to try to figure out why your child’s lips are dry or chapped in the first place. This will help you target the source of the problem, not just its effects, and will also help you decide whether or not it is necessary to make an appointment with your pediatrician.
To get started, here are some of the most common causes of dry, chapped lips in children:
- Common cold – A runny nose and fever that causes your kids to sweat means they’re losing fluids at a faster rate than normal. This can dry skin out, leaving lips feeling dry and chapped.
- Allergies – It is estimated that around 40% of children have mild allergies. Like a common cold, this can cause a runny nose and increase the risk of dehydration and dry lips.
- Dehydration – Unfortunately, it’s very easy for children to become dehydrated. This can cause dryness of the skin and lips and may result from being in the sun too long or simply not drinking enough water throughout the day.
- Drooling – As a parent, you’ll know that kids drool. Drooling, and licking the lips, is bad for the skin and can lead to dryness and chapping so try and put a stop to these habits early on.
- Weather – The lips are very delicate and can become sunburnt very easily in hot weather. They can also be dried out by very cold and windy conditions in the winter months. Both these scenarios can cause dryness.
How to Get Rid of Chapped Lips on Children
Now that you know some of the reasons why children can suffer from this complaint, it’s time to think about how to get rid of chapped lips. Dry lips can actually heal very quickly if you use the right treatments and there are plenty of top tips for how to get rid of chapped lips available online.
When tackling the problem on kids, you want treatments that are quick, easy and safe to use. Here are some of our favorites:
- Stay Hydrated – Try to make sure your kids are getting enough fluid to stop them becoming dehydrated. Remember that your kids will need more liquid if they’re sick, or if they’re playing sports. The USDA recommends 4 ounces of fluid for every 15-20 minutes of physical activity.
- Moisturize the Lips – As well as staying hydrated on the inside, it’s also important to stay hydrated on the outside. Moisturizing the lips will bring temporary relief, while also reintroducing essential moisture that’s been lost. Look for gentle lip balms or lip products designed especially for kids.
- Minimize Drooling – It might seem impossible, but there are a few ways you can try to minimize how often your kids drool. Using a pacifier can increase drooling so, if you’re feeling brave, start weaning your children off of it.
- Protect the Lips – If your kids are likely to be spending time outdoors (in the schoolyard at recess or in the yard at home), make sure their lips are protected from harsh weather conditions. Sunscreen is vital for the summer (and even on sunny days in winter), and it’s a good idea to encourage children to cover up with a scarf on particularly blustery days too.
When to See a Doctor
Dry lips are very common in children and can usually be treated successfully with these simple methods. However, if you find that your child’s lips aren’t responding to treatment, that their lips are severely cracked or bleeding, or that they are showing other signs of dehydration such as sunken eyes or a lack of urination, then you should speak to a doctor. Your pediatrician can check for an underlying cause that needs to be addressed and help tackle the cause of your child’s dry, chapped lips head-on.