KISSING your newborn on the lips could prove deadly. A former paramedic has warned.
Although the loving act is generally harmless to adults, it can pose serious danger to newborns.
Just a quick kiss on the lips can lead to seizures, severe breathing problems and even death, experts at Tiny Hearts Education warn.
That’s why Nikki Jurcutz, who runs the website, said she was “unhappy” to find seven cold sores on her upper lip just six days after giving birth.
The new mom was a carrier of the herpes virus, which can cause cold sores and genital ulcers in adults.
The reason babies are at such high risk is because their immune systems aren’t fully developed, Nikki explained in a post.
So-called neonatal herpes is very rare in the UK but can be devastating if the virus spreads to the baby’s organs.
“The virus can be passed to the baby through close contact with an infected person, particularly during an outbreak,” she wrote.
If, like Nikki, you’re a new mom with cold sores, you’re naturally worried about your baby’s safety.
The expert recommends taking these precautions to minimize the risk of your little one contracting the virus.
- Don’t kiss your baby on the face
- Don’t kiss their hands
- Cover the cold sore when you are in close contact with your baby (face masks work)
- Use hand sanitizer thoroughly before holding your newborn
- Use hand sanitizer thoroughly before touching things you might touch, such as pacifiers or bottles
- Keep the area around the cold sore moist by applying ice and using lip balm
- Don’t touch your cold sore with your hands
- Be careful when breastfeeding – milk can pass on antibodies
Nikki also urged new parents to warn visitors, including close friends and family, about the risk of HPV.
In a previous video, the expert shared her list of newborn rules that she sent to loved ones before the birth.
- No kissing the baby
- If you’re sick, stay away
- Please do not show up unannounced
- Wash your hands before holding the baby
- Return the baby when it cries
- Don’t post pictures of her online without asking
- Ask the parents for their consent before changing the diaper
- Do not wear perfume or strong fragrances
- No whooping cough shot, no visits until baby is six weeks old
- No opinions, just support
“Once the baby is here it can be difficult to have those conversations, so it’s very important to send it beforehand,” she said.