Cold sores or fever blisters are small growths which are filled with fluid, usually appearing near the lips or on their surface. Cold sores can appear separately or as parts of clusters. However, cold sores have no connection to cold. Also, these growths are not to be mistaken for canker sores which appear individually on the tongue, gums or the inside of the cheeks.Babies and Cold Sores
Cold sores are rarely seen in babies. Nevertheless, they can suffer from this condition. Cold sores are actually our body's reactions to Herpes simplex virus type 1. Alternatively, genital herpes can also cause cold sores in some situations, even though these occurrences are rare.
Either way, your baby might contract the virus from getting in contact with someone else who was already infected, having a cold sore him/herself. Thus, a shared cup or personal item, toys containing mucus of an infected child, or a kiss from an infected person, all can lead to cold sores in children. Additionally, if the mother is infected with genital herpes at the time of the birth, the child may get infected too, being born with the virus.
Signs and Characteristics of Cold Sores affecting Your Baby
Most of us get this type of herpes during our childhood. So, once your baby starts suffering from mouth sores, gum inflammation, fever, swollen lymph nodes or sore throat, he/she may be infected with Herpes virus for the first time. Sometimes, symptoms can be extremely mild and you may even fail to recognize them.
Once the symptoms of herpes infection appear, they bother the child for about 10 days, after which they subside. Unfortunately, the virus does not go away. Rather, it remains dormant in the body of the child, getting activated again and again once the conditions are adequate or never being activated again.
Outbreaks of flare-ups of cold sores may be triggered by sun exposure, stress and fever too, resulting in the blistering of the child's lip part or a small portion of the area nearby.
Commonly, babies are well protected from Herpes virus during the first 6 months of their lives, due to antibodies they get from their mothers. Thus, if herpes appears that early, seek medical assistance, since the infection can have severe consequences, attacking the brain or the eyes, potentially leading to blindness or other forms of organ damage.
In order to prevent herpes or take care of your child once he/she develops a cold sore, you are advised to pay attention to child's hygiene and prevent him/her from touching the cold sore, even if this requires placing socks on the hands while the baby sleeps. Do not kiss your baby is you have a cold sore. Moreover, wear a surgical mask during this period.