Adult people can easily get infected with Herpes simplex virus and develop fever blisters but this condition is not commonly seen in babies or small children. However, it can happen and kids may also experience small blisters in or around their lips. It can be just one single blister or a cluster of blisters and these are usually caused by Herpes simplex virus type 1. Additionally, another type (Herpes simplex virus type 2) can also cause cold sores, but this virus is more often seen to cause just genital herpes (sores in the genital area of the body).
About Fever Blisters in Kids
In most cases, kids get this infection from someone who has is already infected. An infected person (child or an adult) may share a toy or a cup, kiss or share some utensil with your kid and transfer herpes infection. The first bout of fever blisters is called primary herpes and this is the first time the kid experiences sore mouth, inflammation of the mouth or some other symptoms. The infection might be mild and a parent does not even have to recognize it, unless there are characteristic lesions, fever, sore throat or swelling of the lymph nodes.
In most cases, fever blisters resolve on their own after a week or so, but there is no way you can get rid of the virus. Herpes simplex stays inside the body for good, causing fever blisters periodically. Known triggers for fever blisters are exposure to the sun, high body temperature or stress, but every single person reacts differently, so different triggers actually provoke fever blisters in/on your child’s mouth.
What Can Parents Do to Help?
Once fever blisters appear, try to ease the problem your child has. Apply some cool damp cloth or ice packs to the itchy or painful spot and leave it for no more than 15 minutes. This should relieve both itchiness and pain the child experiences because of cold sores. Some parents may decide to use OTC (over-the-counter) ointments against fever blisters or pain numbing products. Kids usually do not like any of these products because they sting when applied to fever blisters. Always make sure to use products made for children and avoid anything made for adults only including Aspirin. Instead, use ibuprofen or acetaminophen if your kid suffers from pain or fever and consult your pediatrician about what else can be done/used.
Also, do not forget to apply sunscreen every time your child is exposed to the sun, in order to prevent fever blister outbreaks. Lip balms with SPF (sun protection factor) over 15 are also great and kids usually love these.