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Health Issues

First Aid for Bites or Cuts to a Child’s Tongue or Lip

First Aid Tongue Lip First Aid Tongue Lip

A child might bite the lip or tongue while eating or during a fall. Even small cuts on the lip or tongue can cause a large amount of bleeding, making it difficult to determine the true size of the injury.

What Parents Should Look For

  • A cut on the lip or tongue

  • Bleeding

What Parents Should Do

  1. Wear medical gloves if available.

  2. Have the child rinse his mouth with water so that the site of injury can be identified.

  3. Apply pressure with a piece of gauze or cloth to stop the bleeding.

  4. Apply ice or a cold pack wrapped in a thin cloth to the lip and mouth if there is any swelling.

  5. The child should receive medical care for any injury that might need stitches. An example of an injury that requires stitches is a cut that extends through the lip or across the edge of the tongue.

Last Updated
Pediatric First Aid For Caregivers And Teachers (PedFACTs), 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2013 Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, an Ascend Learning Company, and the American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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