Last Thursday, my Dad brought Lachie to the park. He tripped and bit his bottom lip real hard. His top incisors lacerated the skin under his lip, and his bottom teeth bore a hole in the underside of his lip. It looked quite bad inside, the wound actually looked like the spokes of Mercedes Benz!
My poor dad, he was aghast. He felt so sorry about the fall, that he couldn't stop fretting. There was blood all over Dad's shirt, and he was so upset! Poor poor Dad. Mom and Dad had only arrived from Malaysia that morning too.
The boys are growing up, they're energetic, always exploring and trying new things. These things are bound to happen. We can't always hover over them, because hey sometimes they just need to learn it the hard way. It makes them a better, smarter person.
It's quite unbelievable how quickly lip wounds heal though. I remember seeing kids with split lips while working at the ED as a doctor. The wound had actually healed up, even before being seen by a doctor. It could be quite horrifying for the child or the parent because lacerations to the lip usually bleeds heavily due to the rich blood supply. And it is this extensive network of blood vessels that promotes the super quick healing time.
Lachie? He's alright. He had a bit of a cry. Didn't eat too much for the rest of the afternoon because "there's a hole in my mouth" and "the pasta is bleeding in my mouth". But by night, he was gobbling down dinner like he hadn't eaten for 3 days!
Quick first aid tips for cut lips:
- Clean injured surface with a soft clean cloth and some water.
- Apply cold compress like boo-boo buddies or some crushed ice wrapped in a clean cloth. This will help limit the swelling.
- Pain Killers! I use Panadol.... and an icypole.
- Know when to seek professional help! If the laceration cuts across the junction between the skin and the lip (or the Vermillion border), it is important that it gets stitched up properly because even a small irregularity in the boundary will be permanently noticeable. Also if it wouldn't stop bleeding or if an infection develops, usually a few days after the injury. Signs of infection are redness, swelling, pain and formation of pus.