The appearance of herpes sores in children and newborns causes great concern among parents, as it is one of the most common infectious diseases that affect children, especially at the stage of entering nursery school or school due to mixing with children, and the ease and rapid spread of infection.
It is sores and blisters that affect the mouth, nose, and side of the eye, causing pain and itching, in addition to fever and fatigue, and is transmitted to children through kissing or placing something contaminated with the virus in the mouth. Their immune system has matured.
In order to protect your child from contracting herpes, in this article, we explained to you the causes and symptoms of herpes in children, and some tips for treating herpes in children at home.
What is herpes or cold sores and how to get it?
Herpes or cold sores are small sores that appear around the lips and mouth, and may sometimes appear on the chin, cheeks, and nose as well, caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) through the transmission of the virus through the mucous membranes in the body such as the mouth and nose through contact, and the severity varies Symptoms according to the child’s immunity, and the lack of some nutrients from the body may increase the severity of symptoms, such as: vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and folic acid.
Symptoms of herpes in children
The appearance of sores and small painful blisters on the lips and inside the oral cavity or in some cases may reach the throat and tonsils. It may spread to appear outside the mouth on the face around the mouth and nose.
- A rise in temperature, and the rise in temperature may be slight in some children, and in others it may reach 40 degrees Celsius.
- Swelling in the neck as a result of swollen lymph nodes.
- In some other cases, the virus may spread to the cornea of the eye, and thus may cause herpes infection in the eye, which in some few cases causes blindness, God forbid, unless it is treated immediately.
Tips for treating herpes in children at home
- Apply cold compresses on the skin and lips to reduce the temperature and reduce the feeling of pain and itching in sores spread on the skin and lips.
- Use lip balm and Vaseline to moisturize the area and create an insulating layer. Aloe vera gel can also be used to moisturize and calm friction.
- Avoid eating acidic foods and drinks so as not to increase inflammation.
- Avoid touching the area where the ulcers have, so that they do not spread to other areas, especially the eyes, so that the child will not be exposed to problems in the cornea that affect vision.
- Rinsing using mouthwash or rinsing with water and salt to cleanse the mucous membranes and get rid of viruses inside the mouth.
- The use of some antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir, penciclovir, and valcyclovir, but it is preferable to consult a doctor first before taking any medication.
How to prevent herpes infection
- Not kissing children from the mouth, as it is the fastest way to contract herpes and a reason for the spread of many other diseases.
- Paying attention to personal hygiene and avoiding the child’s use of tools that do not belong to him, as the virus is easy to transmit from one person to another, with allocating tools to the child, and washing hands constantly.
- Strengthening the child’s immune system so that he can overcome the herpes virus and avoid ulcers, through proper balanced nutrition from childhood.
You should consult the doctor and follow up with him in case you notice the spread of ulcers excessively, or your child’s inability to heal alone, it is normal for these to heal within days, and avoid taking antibiotics or taking medicines without consulting the doctor, so as not to cause weakness and destruction of his system immune system.
Herpes is usually not considered a serious disease, and although most children who contract it face few risks, herpes may have serious complications in some cases, especially for newborns, gingivitis, tooth loss or keratitis if the virus reaches the eyes, or in some rare cases, infection in the brain cells if the virus reaches them, so you must take your child’s infection seriously and treat it immediately to avoid these cases.