Does Your Baby have Cold Sores?
Your baby can get cold sores too
Cold sores are caused by a strain of the Herpes virus, which cause sore and painful blisters around the lips. The blisters typically last from two to three weeks. Cold sores will appear as they do in adulthood, and will be painful for the baby, however, the blisters should dissipate over time. The first time that cold sores develop, it may also cause a mild fever, and other cold-like symptoms.
The virus is not eliminated however, and remains dormant in the body. The Herpes virus, which is responsible for cold sores, is extremely prevalent. It is estimated that up to 80% of adult Americans have had some exposure to the Herpes virus in their lives. Most people have immune systems that can completely suppress the viral activity, however, for prone individuals, they will get a periodic cold sore outbreak, usually in the same area of the lips as the initial infection site.
How does my baby become infected?
Cold sores are relatively rare for babies before the age of two, and for the most part, are only a minor nuisance even for those that have recurrent outbreaks. However, for parents that have cold sores, be very careful around your newborn baby if you have an existing outbreak. A very rare, but dangerous condition called neonatal herpes, can occur with newborns. In most cases, the transmission occurs from mother to child in the end stages of pregnancy, but in some cases, newborns can have the virus transmitted after birth.