Is there anything that can be done at home if your 2 year old has mouth sores?
“Child with Mouth Sores”
Dear “Child with Mouth Sores”,
That is a very good question! We all know how painful and irritating mouth sores can be. Sores in the mouth can interfere with eating and talking. For children, mouth sores can be a major problem. The pain can keep them from eating and drinking which can lead to dehydration and its complications. (1)
In order to prevent dehydration it is a good idea to offer foods that will not irritate the lesions. Foods with sharp edges such as crackers, pretzels or chips can cause pain and scratch the mouth sores. This will most likely worsen the situation and cause the child to refuse further atempts to eat or drink. Ice pops are a good choice because the coldness helps take away the pain and provides a fun way to get fluids into a child that may not be eating or drinking well. Offering cold liquids with a straw under parental supervision can also be helpful. Using a straw directs the fluid away from the sores and towards the side of the mouth without pain. Foods such as sherbet, Jell-O, pudding, ice cream, applesauce and soft fruits in syrup, such as cling peaches are easy to eat and can help soothe painful mouth sores.
In order to treat the pain you can apply Baby Oragel to the lesions with a Q-tip. Many Doctors and Nurse Practitioners also recommend a homemade mixture of Benadryl and Maalox. Equal parts of Benadryl and Maalox mixed together and applied with a Q-tip directly to the sores can help soothe the pain. Both of these remedies numb the area and temporarily take away the pain.
These interventions are helpful for sores located at on the gums, on the inner lips, on the inner cheeks and on the tip of the tongue. It is important not to apply Baby Oragel or Benadryl/Maalox mixtures to the back of the mouth of a young child and not to let the child drink the solution. The numbing affects may interfere with a young child’s ability to swallow properly.
Mouth sores that persist, accompanied by a fever, or those interfering with eating should be evaluated by a Physician or Nurse Practitioner. Some common causes of mouth sores in the Pediatric population include Cold sores from a virus, Coxsackievirus and Oral thrush. Other signs of Coxsackievirus include fever, diarrhea, sore throat and lesions on the palms of the hands and soles of feet.(2)
I hope your child is feeling better soon.
If you are interested in reading other Pediatric Advice Stories covering topics discussed:
Hand Foot Mouth Disease
Signs of Dehydration
Ways to Determine if Your Child is Urinating
(1)Betz C, Hunsberger M, Wright S. Family-Centered Nursing Care of Children. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA:W.B.Saunders Company. 1994:1675.
(2) Schwartz M, Charney E, Curry T, Ludwig S. Pediatric Primary Care. A Problem Oriented Approach. 2nd Ed. Littleton, Mass:Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc. 1990:478.
Lisa-ann Kelly R.N., P.N.P.,C.
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Advice On the Web