Is Lip Balm Safe For Kids?

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Most of the time, we think lip balm is the best solution for those annoying chapped lips, but it turns out that may not actually be the case for kids.

As parents, we try to do everything we can for our kids when they’re sick or experiencing pain. Unfortunately, chapped lips are a common childhood issue during the cold season and all year long. Most of the time, we think lip balm is the best solution for those annoying chapped lips, but it turns out that may not actually be the case for kids. In fact, lip balm can actually be dangerous for children’s health.

Common Lip Balm Ingredients

kids' lip balm facts

Credit: Shutterstock

According to Dr. Ganga Sapkota of Health My Lives, many lip balms include camphor or lanolin. They also contain artificial ingredients and chemicals to add fragrance or flavor to the balm.


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Unfortunately, studies show that even small doses of camphor can be fatal for small children, especially if they ingest it. Camphor can cause digestive issues or neurological damage if ingested. This commonly causes nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, and seizures. In fact, even applying it to the skin and lips can cause moderate to severe irritation, especially in children.

Sometimes, companies use lanolin instead of camphor. Lanolin is overall much safer than camphor, but there are cases where people experience allergic reactions to this ingredient.

When it comes to fragrances and flavors, beauty experts with HuffPost say approximately 95 percent of all fragrances come from artificial chemicals. Unfortunately, this means that many lip balms contain high numbers of chemicals that could be potentially dangerous.

Is Lip Balm Safe For Kids?

kids' lip balm facts

Credit: Shutterstock

While there are some kid-friendly lip balms on the market, most experts say you should not use lip balm with kids — period. Between camphor and the chemicals used to make most fragrances, the potential risks are definitely not worth the reward. With that being said, you should always consult your doctor or other care provider before using any sort of lip balm for your child’s chapped lips.

However, there are ways to make your own lip balm using all-natural ingredients so that it’s safe for kids. The team at Scholastic has a recipe for natural lip balm that requires just five ingredients or items, and the kids can even help make it!

In general, though, any balm or soothing mix that contains natural coconut oil and/or beeswax is considered safe for kids.

How To Prevent Chapped Lips Without Lip Balm

Via Shutterstock

Even though the lip balms in most retail stores aren’t necessarily safe for children, that doesn’t mean you can’t use other solutions to prevent chapped lips or ease the symptoms for your kids. In fact, there are several great solutions out there, according to VeryWell Family.

For starters, you can make sure your child is staying properly hydrated. You can make sure your child is drinking enough water each day, and you can also give them foods that are rich in moisture, like watermelon or soup. Proper hydration helps kids avoid chapped lips.

Furthermore, you can watch your child’s habits and help them make changes if needed. For example, many kids lick their lips, and this causes them to chap fairly easily. Kids are also bad about not wiping their mouths after they eat, and this can also lead to chapped lips. By making these small changes, your child’s lips can stay moist and healthy.

Most parents just want to take care of their kids when they’re sick or in pain. However, most of us never think to stop and check ingredients on items like lip balm or read about if it’s actually safe for kids. With this new knowledge, though, you can keep your child safe and healthy.

READ NEXT: Careful With Heatstroke, Here’s How To Keep Kids Safe

Sources: Health My LivesHuffPostScholasticVerywell Family

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