Everyone will agree: babies are absolutely adorable. They easily get all the attention at a gathering with family and friends with their chubby cheeks, big eyes, and round noses. If you’re a parent, you probably make sure they’re cleaned after different people have been in contact with your baby. However, it appears that no amount of cleaning can be of help when it comes to one specific type of bacteria; it can be deadly!

Namely, when Claire Henderson gave birth to Brooke, a lot of people came to visit her in the hospital and unknowingly, one of the visitors had the herpes simplex virus 1. This is a very common virus and 67% of people in the world have it. And, just as Brooke’s visitor, they’re not even aware of having it.

The immunity of an adult can fight off the virus; therefore, exposure to the virus through kissing is not a big concern. The worst thing that it may cause is a cold sore. However, this isn’t the case for babies. While feeding her baby, Claire noticed that there were sores around the baby’s mouth. The doctors told her that if babies are exposed to HSV-1 within the first 3 months; the virus can spread through their whole body and even cause brain and liver damage.

Fortunately, Brooke’s condition was treatable; however, some parents didn’t have the same luck. Back in 2008, Charlotte Raveney and her husband Mohamed lost their 11-day-old baby Mira due to HSV-1 that had been passed onto the baby through a kiss. Unfortunately, baby Mira hadn’t developed antibodies that could fight off HSV-1. To make things worse, in 2013, another two-month-old baby, Kaiden McCormick, died because of HSV-1 transferred by his father through a kiss.

How to protect the baby from HSV-1

Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of the fact that kissing a baby can be harmful for the baby. Therefore, avoid kissing newborns on the face even if you don’t have signs of HSV-1. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your baby, take the baby to a hospital, especially if he/she has been around other people:



Burning around the mouth and lips

Cold sores on the face

As a parent, you should also prevent other people from kissing your baby because in the first 6 weeks of their lives, babies have an underdeveloped immunity for the germs adults carry daily. You might only have a runny nose or an ugly sore, however, for the baby; this may mean life or death. Understand that other parents are not being over-protective; they just want to keep their baby healthy.

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