A lip injury usually occurs when a child falls or bumps into something. More often than not, a child will catch his or her lip in his teeth during a fall, creating a split lip (luckily, most of these cuts don't connect or go through the lip). In minor cases, extremely chapped lips, as little ones so often experience during colds, may create a split lip. Both injuries may produce swelling of the lip along with possible pain, soreness, and bleeding where the skin has been split.
When to Call the Doctor: If bleeding stops but there's no improvement with other symptoms, you should call the doctor within one to two days, says Dr. Csukas.
Treatment: If your child experiences a split lip, "rinse the mouth and lip with cold water and clean area gently with a washcloth," recommends Dr. Csukas. "Then apply a cold compress to the affected area or have the child suck on an ice pop if [he or she is] old enough." You should also avoid salty or acidic foods as they can cause more pain.
Prevention: Lip ointments can help prevent dry and cracked lips from splitting. Keeping a safe distance between children and toys when playing also helps prevent lip injuries. For children involved in sports or physical activities such as skateboarding, consider mouth guards to prevent all types of oral injuries.