A Toddler's Dry Cracked Lips

Lips lack oil glands; that's why your toddler’s lips can’t moisturize themselves as effectively as the rest of his skin. Also, 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.

Causes Of Cracked Lips

Dehydration may be the source of your toddler's dry and cracked lips. Because the body lacks sufficient moisture, your child's lips become dry. When they become extremely dry, they lose their flexibility and begin to crack. Vomiting and fever can cause dehydration, as can not drinking enough fluids.

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

Prevention Tips


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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.

Soothe Your Toddler's Skin

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


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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.