18 answers

Stitches, Swollen Lips and Eating/drinking

my 4.5 year old son was running and jumping yesterday and fell face first into concrete - and busted his lower lip - bit through it and needed 4 stitches. so now today BOTH of his lips are swollen and he's having trouble drinking and wont eat anything. Has anyone ever dealt with anything similar and have any suggestions - godo things to eat ways to get him to be able to drink/eat. he's trying hard to drink but its hard with two swollen lips. thanks in advance for any advice.

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So What Happened?™

well i appreciate all the concern and suggestions they were great. he sort of got the hang of drinking during the day yesterday - and actually later in the day i had a "quiet" playdate for him - i think that actually helped the swelling b/c he was upright instead of laying down - so thats good. last evening the swelling had gone down a bit and he was able to eat a pudding cup. He's not awake yet for today so we'll see if the swelling is still down. But i was VERY relieved when in the middle of the night he asked for a drink and was able to use a sippy cup.

thanks again!

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when my son had swollen lips due to anastesia he was allergic to it and we didnt even know, he had a tooth pulled. They gave him tylenol with codeine. It helped. He looked like a duck.

Dear S.,

My son (now 30 years old) had a similar experience when he was a little boy. I found that if I made popsicles out of nutritious liquids, I could get him to eat.

Hope this helps,


More Answers

lots of straws, lol! Cream of wheat and smoothies and protein shakes that are his favorite flavor, you can even make some ensure concoctions and teach him how to use the blender.

Hi S.,

for food, how about dry cereal ? If you have any of the whole grain kind, it's fairly healthy, and it makes a good snack. He'll live eating nothing but cereal for a few days -- but you could also cut stuff up small so he could simply pop it in and chew on his back teeth.

for drinks -- how about ice chips or ice cubes ? and give him a towel so he can wipe when he drools down his chin. The ice will help to numb his lips, it'll help some with swelling and it'll get at least some fluid into him.

You might want to consider ibuprofin as well because it helps with the pain and the swelling -- whatever your doctor recommends. :-)

Good luck. It's so much harder on a kid than an adult. I know your heart hurts as much as his face does !!


The only thing I can think of is ice cream, the cold will help with the swelling. Keep pumping motrin and about 45 mins after giving it to him try ice cream or a hommade milkshake. Maybe making it together will help him get his mind off of it a little bit. I have a 20 mo old boy and I am not looking forward to the bumps bruises and cuts :0) Poor little guy I hope he feels better!

Sorry about the fall your son took...it is very scary to see them get hurt like that but I have an idea about what to give him while he is recuperating. Pedialite has popsicles, I think this would be great for him, he won't get dehydrated and while his lips will go down he can suck on a healthy, delicious popsicle that will help with the swollen lips plus give him electrolytes so he won't get dehydrated. They also have frozen yogurt on a stick, or you can be creative and make something on a stick for him that is healthy and less irritating on his sore mouth! Maybe once he tries the popsicle ideas, he'll feel a little more comfortable drinking and eating, again! Good luck

Have him try to use a straw and drink all of his food like broth or anything thin enough to go through it. You can strain some stuff as well. Shakes are good.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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My son did something similar when he was 3.5yo. He got several stitches in his lower lip. We used a straw, juice pops, lollipops, stuff like that. Expect him to make a mess and let him know that's ok. Our swelling went down very quickly and once that happened he acted like normal with the stitches. Good luck and speedy recovery.

ice, icepops, soft foods cold straws
shakes they will survive a dew days without eating nutritionally

try using a straw, if he is allowed. make a smoothy for him with some yogurt and fruit. he may like it,if this is something he usually does not eat.it is going to be hard with his lips swollen to drink anything. try some soft foods also like jello and some soup. you may have to baby him a few days with the poor swollen lips. the swelling will go down and he will want to eat when he is hungry.
take it easy. he will be okay. kids are more resilent than you think.

ice, ice, and more ice......should start feeling better in couple days

Try having him drink from a straw. Have you tried giving him soft foods like mashed potatoes, ice cream, soup, etc.

Also make sure you are giving him some ice for the swelling, hopefully that will help get it down faster! If he doesn't want just a towel or ice pack with the ice, use something "special" if you have it, like a boo-boo bunny (just a washcloth twisted up to fit the ice and little eyes and nose), or even a popsicle with the wrapper on. Then maybe he can have to popsicle after a few minutes! Good luck and I hope he feels better soon! :) They really should sell safe bubble wrap for our little ones!

Hi S.,
You can get him some Pediasure. It's a nutritional drink almost like a milk shake it comes in a few different flavors. It's Ensure for kids. You can get it at most grocery or drug stores. Try having him drink through a straw.

If the straws are too painful, just help him spoon shakes, smoothies, creamy soups, etc. Pediasure would be good--maybe make it into a shake with ice cream? I wouldn't be too worried about nutrition til he's a little more healed. Poor little guy! Hope he's better fast!

What about having him drink through a straw - beverages, soups, breakfast drinks, smoothies. Maybe help him spoon soft foods into his mouth that don't require much chewing - jello, pudding.

when my son had swollen lips due to anastesia he was allergic to it and we didnt even know, he had a tooth pulled. They gave him tylenol with codeine. It helped. He looked like a duck.

Dear S.,

My son (now 30 years old) had a similar experience when he was a little boy. I found that if I made popsicles out of nutritious liquids, I could get him to eat.

Hope this helps,


S. W. Try letting him use a straw. they sell cereal bowls with a built in straw, make him soup (will have to be a cream soup so theres nothing to chew)serve in the bowl he can sip it through the straw. make him soft boiled eggs he can almost swollow with out chewing. There is also Ensure for children if you are concerned about the nutrition. Good luck hope he feels better soon. J.

I might be late in responding but I read in Parents magazine last night about using a medicine dropper for liquids and popcicles and predialyte and jello for fluids. That might be useful.

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