Think Twice Before Kissing a Baby (Or Letting Someone Kiss Yours)

A picture is worth 1000 words

People love to pick up and lavish love on babies. But Amy Stinton is sharing a photo to explain why you should think twice about letting people give them a kiss, and it's worth 1000 words.

This is her son, Oliver, after he was kissed by someone with an open cold sore.

For many people, cold sores are just occasional annoyances. But The cold sore is caused by the infectious herpes simplex virus (HSV), and it's easily transmitted via the saliva of someone with an outbreak or by touching the sore itself. Parents and well-meaning strangers or family members can give kids herpes this way - completely by accident.

Given the genetic nature of herpes and the way it "hides" itself from our immune systems, it is very difficult to eliminate and means the person may experience occasional outbreaks of sores for the rest of their life. While for most healthy people dealing with an outbreak is no big deal - just a little sore - for the little ones and the immunocompromised, the infection can manifest itself in a much more expansive way.

Amy commented on her post that her son was to be hospitalized to treat the infection, and that there's no point blaming others because he could have been infected for months before they knew - but she wanted to make people aware of what can happen. It's important to note that while a person is most infectious after the sore develops, a person may be infectious before the cold sore develops, too - and some people may never present the outwards symptoms of herpes at all.

So while we may feel the need to kiss those chubby cheeks, it may be a better idea to keep our lips to ourselves.




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Anne is one of those people who usually speaks to others in memes, pop culture references, and SAT words. On those occasions she can be understood at all, she likes to entertain others with a sense of humour usually described by friends as “hilarious—once you get to know her.”