It is always so tough to keep an eye on a busy naughty toddler, accidents can happen even in a blink of an eye! It was few months back, on a Sunday winter morning when my daughter, her dad and i, we all were soaking up the warm sunshine in our terrace, little Raima was running around all over the terrace. Her dad and i were chit chatting and also observing Rai’s activity from a distance, when suddenly within a fraction of a second while running she fell down and started crying. I ran to her to hold her up and was shocked by the sight of blood running down her lower lips! She had injured her lower lips with her sharp little teeth. She was bleeding heavily and crying aloud. Her dad quickly brought water and pour over the injury first and then tried to apply a little press with a clean towel so that the bleeding stops. Of course frightened little Rai was not allowing us to touch her swollen paining lips but we tried our best to distract her and finally the bleeding stopped after a while.
Swollen split lips were irritating little Raima, we took her to a health center where i came to know many new facts about child’s mouth injury and was very relieved with little medication. Mouth injuries can be of many types like cut lips, bit up tongue, bit up inner cheeks while chewing etc..
First aid of mouth injuries:
There are many tiny blood vessels in the mouth region and even a small cut causes lots of bleeding making the parents think its a really serious accident! But most of the mouth injuries are not that serious as they look. It is very important to be calm so that the little one gets calmer fast. The first thing to be done is to stop the bleeding, for this wet a little piece of clean cloth and apply slight pressure on the bleeding spot. Of course my little Raima was not allowing us to touch her lips but the second thing which we did was to distract her by showing her favorite birds flying up there, little cats playing down there and what all distraction devices are available. The longer the child is distracted the more quickly bleeding will stop with the pressure treatment.
Medication for mouth injury:
I was not prescribed any medicine for my daughter’s injury. Doctors asked me to apply ice packs to reduce the swelling and numb the pain, and apply an anticeptic ointment on the wound. After about an hour of the accident, Raima started playing like her real self, as if nothing has happened to her. I gave her frozen carrot slice, frozen cucumber slice to lick on so that her swollen lips are relaxed. Since my daughter didn’t showed any sign of pain doctor gave no any pain reliever but in other cases, acetaminophen or ibuprofen is given to ease the pain.
Meal time care:
When the wound is fresh, it is but natural that the wound will sting if any salty or spicy food comes in contact, so for few days give your child bland foods. The day Raima was injured, i gave her rice mixed with milk and sweetened with sugar in lunch, cornflakes and mashed fruits in the evening and a light porridge made up of dalia (broken wheat), but the next day i tried to give her a light khichdi in the food didn’t sting. In the case where injury is in the inside of the mouth, i suggest to continue bland food for few more days.
Apply medicine when the baby sleeps:
It was not possible for me to apply medicine on my busy toddler’s lips while she was playing as she would lick it unknowingly. I made it a point to apply a thick coat of the antiseptic ointment on the wound as soon as she falls asleep. I used an all purpose boroline or boroplus antiseptic cream which is very common in household of India. Continued it for a week and my daughter was fine after that.
Although most of the mouth injuries are not so serious as they seems to be but there are few things which should be checked and calls for an immediate doctor visit. Those situations are, if the child was injured with any rusty material (which causes tetanus), the cut is very deep or more than half an inch which would need stitches, the bleeding doesn’t stop even after applying pressure for more than 3-5minutes, there is dirt in the wound which you are not able to wash off with water, the injury is deep in the roof of the mouth or tonsil area, any bone injuries or signs of infection like pus etc needs serious attention.
It is not always easy to keep a constant eye on a busy toddler, and at the same time it is very disturbing to see the apple of your cheeks injured, as a parent we always have to use a presence of mind and act swiftly in any kind of emergencies. God bless.