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A Toddler's Dry Cracked Lips

A Toddler's Dry Cracked Lips


Lips lack oil glands; hence, your toddler's lips can't moisturize themselves as effectively as the rest of his skin. Additionally, if your toddler spends a lot of time outside -- under the sun or in the wind -- or if he drools and licks his lips, then he may have an increased risk of dry, cracked lips.


Your toddler's lips may become dry and cracked because of dehydration. The toddler's body lacks sufficient moisture, and so his lips become dry. When they become extremely dry, they lose their flexibility; because lips move frequently, they begin to crack. Vomiting and fever can cause dehydration, as can not drinking enough fluids.

Dry seasons such as winter can cause chapped lips, as can sunlight exposure. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that saliva can cause or exacerbate lip dryness in toddlers, since they often drool or lick their lips.


Run a humidifier in your house to prevent too-dry air, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends. The Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies suggests that you encourage your toddler to drink more water so that she doesn't become dehydrated. Loosely cover your toddler's mouth with a scarf when she goes outside on a dry or windy day.


Apply Vaseline or lip balm to your toddler's dry and cracked lips. Instruct your child to drink more water so that his body has sufficient moisture to repair his lips. If your child experiences strong pain or if his lips don't heal, see a pediatrician or dermatologist, who can prescribe an intensive-care lip ointment.

Talk to Your Toddler

Talk to your toddler to comfort her and to help her understand why her lips hurt. Explain that drinking water will help her lips feel better. Tell her not to lick the lip balm on her lips; explain that it both hinders the medicine and worsens the pain.


If your toddler's lips are cracked severely or if they won't heal, talk to a doctor. Dry, cracked lips can potentially indicate a serious disease. If the dryness resulted from dehydration accompanied by vomiting or fever, call a pediatrician.

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