Next time you get the urge to pucker up while cuddling a newborn, don’t. Claire Henderson’s baby girl could have died because of a kiss on the mouth from a visitor with a cold sore.
The new mother wants “every new mum and pregnant woman” to know that cold sores can be fatal for a baby after her tiny daughter Brooke was hospitalised after being kissed.
“Before three months old a baby cannot fight the herpes virus. If a baby contracts this it can cause liver and brain damage and lead to death,” Claire says. “I know this sounds like I am scaremongering, but if my friend had not told me about this my baby girl could have been very seriously ill.”
The British mother noticed the signs early – red, crusty sores on her daughter’s lips – and took baby Brooke to the local hospital’s emergency department, where she was put on a drip for five days. Luckily, all tests came back clear.
Claire posted the shocking warning on her Facebook page to alert others of the harm a cold sore could do to a baby. The post has become somewhat of a community service announcement and has been shared more than 47,000 times on social media, including by new dad, actor Ashton Kutcher. “It’s fantastic, spreading the word to prevent it happening again!” Claire says.
“The moral of the story is do not let anyone kiss your newborn’s mouth, even if they don’t look like they have a cold sore – 85 per cent of the population carry the virus,” says Claire. “And if someone had a cold sore ask them to stay away until it has gone. Everyone who I have spoken to had not heard of this before and so I felt it was important to share Brooke’s story and raise awareness to stop anyone else going through what we have.”
In 2014 a baby girl in Queensland died after contracting the herpes simplex virus. She was 24 days old.
(via Claire Henderson’s Facebook)