28 answers

Healthy Toddler with Cccasional Blue Lips

I've noticed on occasion (say three times) that my daughters lips have turned blue. (Please note, she is NOT turning blue, just her lips). She has no other signs of illness when it happens and carries on normally. I've checked to see if she was cold (usually a little) but nothing extreme. She was just checked for iron (she's fine) and has no known heart issues.

I called my doctors office the other day to ask about this and my doctor said she would think about it and call me back. She said some people's lips just turn blue when they're cold, but some have underlying reasons. Anyone else experience this with their little one? My daughter has been pretty darn healthy otherwise.

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I should have followed up on this quite a while ago as it occurred to me that other people might find my resolution helpful. We took our daughter to the doctor who said that she seemed perfectly healthy but gave us a referral to a pediatric heart doctor just in case. We took her to the heart doctor and thankfully all looked normal. They suggested that we bundle her up if her lips turn blueish.

More Answers

Hi, L., my daughter would get occasional blue lips because of her stridor. Basically she had an extra flap of skin in her throat that she has pretty much outgrown now. The extra flap of skin would sometimes partially block air flow causing the blue lips. Have you tried seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist? May not be the issue, but another avenue to check out. Our ENT diagnosed my daughter with this condition. Good luck.

Interesting. My son, healthy (almost 12month old) gets blue lips too. It has happened a couple times. I too checked to see if he is cold and he wasn't and sometimes I have also noticed his fingertips are ble. We called the advice nurse and she was concerned about it. Same response your doctor gave. Just seems odd. I wish we had more of an understanding.

Hi L.!

My son suffered from Reflexive Anoxic Seizure Disorder when he was little.... between ages 1-5. It is a type of syncope. Syncope is a sudden drop in blood pressure, which results in fainting and sometimes seizures.

If he cried or got upset, it would trigger a seizure. The first sign would be that his lips and the area around his mouth would turn blue.

Syncope can affect anyone of any age. You should ask your doctor if that may be causing the blue lips.

Hope this helps.


I haven't seen this in my daughter, but I actually have this happen to me when I am cold and I have Raynauds Disease. Here is the MayoClinic definition
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/raynauds-disease/DS00433. It really hasn't been a problem for me other than the fact that my lips turn blue and my fingers turn white when I am cold. I have had this happen since I was a kid. Hope that helps.

Hi L.,

My lips turn blue sometimes as do my fingernail beds. It happens when I am chilly, but also sometimes when my blood pressure drops, which sometimes happens when I am unwell - particularly with any type of tummy bug - and I have a tendency to faint quite easily because of it.

Other than the fainting, there are no other negative symptoms and I have been like this most of my life. It's mostly just scary for those around me and I do need to warn people I live and work with that I have this tendency to pass out, just in case I do it unexpectedly in the office or something. I don't want to freak them out.

Good luck and I hope your doctor comes up with an explanation that you're satisfied with.

D. x

My lips have always turned blue when I am cold and I have no underlying health issues. My son is now 11 and his lips have always turned blue as well with no health issues. Some people are just more sensitive to the cold.


Her O2 Saturation level could be low. Could she have asthma and you not know it? It should be checked out when its happening. Kids lips do turn blue when they are cold,. but I think in general it is a sign of not enough oxygen in the blood,

Hi there, I am a SAHM of a 4 year old. I was wondering if your daughter has been diagnossed with a heart mumor? This acctually happened to me as a child ( and still does on occation), and was finally diagnossed with a hole and a murmor.

This sounds scary...
I have a tendency--like my mother-- to get bluish hands when cold. I have not seen blue lips before. Make sure to follow up with the doctor quickly, and take notes on any details you notice or think of.

I hope you have found an explanation for your daughter's blue lips but if not I would certainly investigate further. it could be a sign of hypoxia (lack of oxygen in her blood) which would be caused by an underlying heart condition. I know you mentioned you didn't think this to be the issue but if you haven't already had her checked out I strongly suggest you do. good luck.

Funny. I had the blue lip scenario when I was a kid, and it was usually in the morning when I was cold, felt aprehensive or had been swimming. As I grew into a tween and was concious of it affecting my oh so important sex life I worked out a system to cure it. I would do the vowels A E I O U with an exagerated ferver and blow hot air on them. It always worked, which seems to explain that it was a circulation issue.
It's a dutch thing.... are you northern Euro? (Oh to be african!)
If I had to address it again, say with a child, I would think jojoba oil massaged on the lips along with circulation exercises would make for some happy lips.
kisses, R.

That sounds very concerning. My sister's lips used to turn blue and she had serious heart issues as a child. She had holes in her heart and if she swam or whatever and then got cold her lips would turn blue. I don't mean to frighten you, but it seems like when my sister got a little cold the blood just wouldn't circulate to the extremities. I would insist on seeing a child cardiologist so they can rule out any heart problems. Good luck!

How funny that you asked this back in Sept. and it is just now showing up in some of our inboxes. I'm glad all truned out well! Before I realized this was such an old posting, I was going to say that my daughter's lips turn blue at the slightest hint of cold. Mine do too! We've both been checked out completely and it is just a function of our very fair complexions. Good thing we live in Santa Cruz like you, where it is never very cold. I can't imagine what we'd look like during a South Dakota winter!

Good luck on your continuing adventure in parenting!

My daughters lips did the same thing and it FREAKED me out. I noticed one time they were really blue (she's mixed so it really stood out) and then took a nap and PRESTO! her lips went back to their normal color. It become one of my many ways to tell she was overly tired. It has stopped since then. I hope its nothing serious and something as simple as your lil one needs a nap.


Hi L....

Has your toddler had a chest x-ray? Does she get the blue lips when she is really active? I would request a chest x-ray just in case it is a heart issue. Our daughter had Dilated Cardiomyopathy and although your daughter probably does not (in all honesty, the odds are REALLY against it - 12 out of every million or something) and we would have never known it, but she got a respiratory infection and they x-rayed her chest to check her lungs and her heart was really big. Its better if they can catch it early...and its no harm to rule it out. I just think its better to be safe - and heart defects often go unnoticed until the child gets really sick...I know that my daughter's lips used to turn blue because of poor circulation issues.
I know this is a long shot and I'm sure your daughter is fine, but I would at least ask for the chest x-ray.


My son who is now almost 4 has had this from the day he was born. I was so concerned that I took him into urgent care one time. They tested his oxygen levels which were at 100%. The doctors were never able to give me an explanation except that he is cold. However, my son is so hot all the time that he sweats sometimes just sitting still if he has a sweatshirt on. I haven’t noticed this happen over the past few months...so maybe kids just grow out of it.

I was like that as a child because I have such pale skin. Could be a possibility if your daughter is pale too.

Hi L.

I would demand a more serious response from your doctor and perhaps think about getting a different one. Blue lips can be indicative of heart problems. This is how a friend of mine recently found out that her daughter had heart issues. I would definitely get her checked out.

I wish you the best.

My daughter had the same thing. It ended up being b/c she was cold and I also noticed it after she would eat yogurt or something else cold as well. We did have her checked out, to be on the safe side, but she was very healthy otherwise. When I noticed it, I would put more clothes on her and that seemed to help even though she did not feel cold to the touch. After that I felt confident that it was nothing more than that. Also she has always been a very healthy child as well. My daughter is also very fair and has sensitive skin, so any tiny scratch, or brush or even a laughing fit really shows up on her face :) Good Luck!

I don't want to cause you to worry, but you should probably get a second opinion. I have known children with heart defects (not fatal) whose lips would turn blue.

Just to be on the safe side.

PLease research the following topics:

Central Cyanosis


(Nitrate/nitrite poisoning)

Do you have well water? High nitrite/nitrates in water and also any coliform bacteria can cause Methenoglobiemia (decreased oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin).
Have your doctor test her blood for methoglobin levels.
Avoid carrots/spinach/celery/cabbage.

Beleive it or not even municipal water supplies can be contaminated. The last time I checked Livermore's water we had freon, of all things, in our water supply... and also we were above recommended safety limits on nitrites / nitrates.

Deep vein thrombosis (Blood clots), heart murmers, epiglotitis, can also contribute to cyanosis. I also believe certain bacterias in the blood / body can contribute to poor circulation problems. Certainly bacterias have been known to affect heart and veins.

Kind regards,

ps..try Organic live Manuka honey internally 4 x or more a day- which oxegentates and kills bacterias. (you can always find it online..I think vitacost.com has it at a good price )

My daughter would get very blue lips when she got cold as a baby. After a battery of tests, she was diagnosed with primary Raynaud's syndrom where cold temperatures affect her blood circulation. She would be cold even when the rest of the family felt fine. It seems to be getting better as she gets older...the doctor says it's spontanous remission so basically she is outgrowing it. Just something to have checked out.

Is it both lips or just her bottom lip? My daughter (5 months old) had this happen on a few occasions and it turned out she was giving herself a "hickey" due to sucking on her lip so hard (for comfort). Once her pediatrician and I found this out, we ended up laughing about it--her first hickey at 5 months. Just a thought!

We definitely experience the same thing and after asking around quite a bit, have also just chalked it up to her being a bit chilly. Certainly scary, but nothing's ever come of it so I've let it go for now. Will follow here in case anyone has anything more substantial to offer!

My son sometimes gets blue hands and feet, and I suffer from the same problem. My whole arms turn blue when I get cold. If anything it's just poor circulation, and I wouldn't worry about it unless it's a persistant thing, I'm sure she's just fine :)

Does she frequently squat down? if she does notify MD of this symptom along with blue lips.

When this happens, what is the the temp around her? Does she have goosebumps? Under what conditions do they turn blue? Feel her feet and hands, are they cold? Are THEY blue? I would be a bit more concerned and not take the "I will think about it" from the doctor! You say she has no heart issues, how do you know that? If I were in your position I would push this a bit more. That's just my opinion though.

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