My Child Has Blue Lips --- Causes and
Cures
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Last updated June 15, 2017, originally published April 17, 2013
By Alison Turner,  Featured Columnist
[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses and other members of our
Editorial Board.]






Having blue lips, a condition technically known as cyanosis, is a
fairly common problem among children. Even so, when your
child turns any color he or she is not supposed to be, it's
natural to panic.  But, fortunately, most cases of blue lips in
children are caused by simple conditions that can be remedied
fairly easily. Only in rare cases is cyanosis an indication of a
more serious problem, such as heart problems. When are a
child's blue lips a reason to worry? What causes a child's lips to
turn blue? Are there any natural remedies for blue lips in
children?

When all is fine and well, blood that carries oxygen is red, while
de-oxygenated blood on its way to the lungs for more oxygen
appears blue.  However, if something is not in top shape with
the lungs, heart, or the blood itself, blood could flow through
the lungs without collecting adequate oxygen.  It is this de-
oxygenated, "blue" blood that can make certain body parts
appear blue, including the lips of children.

As we've said,  the most common name for the condition of
having blue lips is
"cyanosis".  Cyanosis occurs when there is
decreased oxygen in the blood stream due to a problem in the
lungs, or a defect in the heart or large vessels that allows the
mixing of blue and red blood.  

The symptoms of cyanosis include a purple or blue hue to the
lips, tongue and fingernails.  The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Medical Center reports that one type of cyanosis ---
"acrocyanosis" --- is actually quite “normal” in babies,
manifesting as blue discoloration around the palms of the
hands, the soles of the feet, and the skin around the lips.  

A second kind of cyanosis, called "central cyanosis", is a bit
more worrisome.  In this case, the bluish hue emerges on
“central” parts of the body, such as the head, torso, and the
lips.   

How does cyanosis (or other reasons for blue lips) occur?  

Simple reasons for blue lips include the foods or drinks your
child is consuming or reactions to something in your child's
environment.  But blue lips can also be caused by long-term
heart, lung or blood problems, a blood clot,
Raynaud’s
phenomenon, or infection.  
Some studies, such as a 1997 study
from the University of Tasmania in Australia, have pointed to
the use of anti-histamines as a little known cause of blue lips
and other occurrences of cyanosis.


For this reason, whenever you see that your child has blue lips,
or blue coloring in any part of their body, you should have it
investigated by a doctor. Blue coloring typically indicates that
the body part is starved for oxygen, so act fast.

Check out the list below for conditions associations with blue
lips that are specific to children, as discovered by experts in the
field from around the world.


























1.
Chemicals From a Fish Tank Can Make Your Child’s Lips Blue

Do you have a fish tank at home?  Have these fish ever gotten a
parasitic or fungal disease that you tried to fix with a chemical
product?  While all chemicals can be dangerous around
children, researchers in Kentucky find that one in particular, a
dye called Malachite Green that is used to treat disease in fish,
could make your child’s lips turn blue.

In 2008, researchers at the Kentucky Regional Poison Center
and the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, including
Henry Spiller at the first,  encountered a 3 year old girl who
had blue fingernail beds and blue lips.  

The little girl's father discovered she had ingested “up to two
ounces” of malachite green.  The girl’s cyanosis (which
includes the blue lips) appeared about 30 minutes after
ingestion, and in the emergency department the blue color
spread to her head, hands, and limbs.  

The little girl was treated with “an infusion of methylene blue,”
sent to the intensive care unit, and “observed for 20 hours
without return of symptoms.”

Of course the better scenario is to prevent your child from
sampling fish cleaner in the first place, or any other chemical
you have in the house.  It might be worthwhile to scan your
home for low-living bottles and easy-open tops.

2.
Fava Beans Can Make Your Child's Lips Blue


Researchers in The Netherlands have found a surprising and
somewhat complicated chain of connections between blue lips
and a seemingly harmless snack on the other --- fava beans.

In 2009, experts in The Netherlands, including Piet Leroy with
the Department of Pediatrics at the University Hospital
Maastricht,  investigated the case of a one year old boy who
presented to the emergency department with “a bluish
discoloration of the lips and dark-colored urine.”  

After being informed of the child’s consumption of “red
cabbage and fava beans,” the team discovered a complicated
situation.  

It seems that in some people, fava beans induce an “oxidative
stress to erythrocytes, leading to acute hemolysis.”  

This young boy had “combined severe hemolytic anemia and
cyanosis due to methemoglobinemia” – the latter condition is a
blood disorder that can result in blue coloration of the skin.  

His condition was further complicated by “the development of
transient acute renal failure,” all of which resulted in a “G6PD-
deficiency” diagnosis.  The child was treated with intravenous
medication and eventually “recovered completely.”

If your child develops blue in the lips, and if his or her
urine is
dark, be sure to tell the physician whether or not fava beans
have been on the dinner table recently.  

Fava beans are an ingredient in hummus and other dished so
you need to stay aware of any sources of fava beans in your
child's diet if he or she has blue lips.

3.
Holding Their Breath Can Make Children's Lips Blue

Once upon a time, we all thought that figuring out how long we
could hold our breath was a great game.  

Breath-holding spells may look like a game that your toddler
plays – he’s seeing how long he can hold his breath, that’s so
cute! – but that “game” can quickly turn into something more
serious.  

Breath-holding spells are not a game at all, but an involuntary
reflex that can happen in kids between the ages of 6 months
and 5 years.  They often occur after an upset, such as an
injury, or a more emotional upset, which first leads to crying.

What may at first look like a temper tantrum then turns into a
gasp or what appears to be holding the breath, then cyanosis
(which includes blue lips), and eventually loss of consciousness
followed by flaccidity and convulsing.  

A study from Pakistan finds that these frightening events may
in fact be linked to
anemia.

In 2005, a group of specialists at the Department of Pediatrics
at the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar, Pakistan,  
assessed the relationship between breath holding spells and
anemia.  50 patients between the ages of 6 months and 5 years
with breath holding spells and “mild to moderate iron
deficiency anemia” were given iron therapy for 8 weeks.  

At the end of testing, patients showed a “statistically significant
rise in the hemoglobin level,” which was “associated with a
statistically significant fall in the frequency of breath holding
spells.”

The team concluded that “
treating iron deficiency anemia is
effective in reducing the frequency of breath holding spells.


If your child (and you!) have gone through a breath-holding
spell, consider asking your pediatrician about anemia testing.


4.
Congenital Heart Disease and Blue Lips


Continue reading   page 1   page 2















































Related:
Reasons for Dark Spots on Lips
Reasons for White Spots on Lips
When Your Child Is  a Picky Eater -Causes  and Top 10 Natural
Remedies
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Stop Baby Crying-Top 10 Natural Remedies for Colic
Itchy Skin in Children-Natural Remedies
Ideal Weight Charts for Children of Different Heights
Sugar Content in Baby Foods-A Directory
Encopresis-When Your Child Holds In Their Bowels,a  
University of Virginia Report
Protect Your Child Against Schizophrenia

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Fava beans , which is used to make
hummus, can make a child's lips blue.