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As part of our how to spot series, we’ll be helping you spot some of the most common diseases that affect children. For this week’s edition, we’ll help you understand how to spot herpes, how to treat it, as well as ways to prevent herpes from affecting you or your kids.
Oral Herpes is also known as cold sores and is quite common in kids and children. While it isn’t dangerous, it is quite annoying. It is also contagious and very dangerous if transmitted to a newborn child.
- A small blister or group of blisters on the lips and mouth
- Tingling, itching, and irritation of lips and mouth
- Redness of lips and mouth that may last from 3-7 days
- Blisters that leak fluid and then make a crust.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
At first, the sores look similar to pimples or just small bumps. Then, they start to develop into blisters filled with pus. They can be red, yellow, or white. After a blister burst, you’ll be able to see a clear or yellow liquid coming out of it before it develops a yellow crust and heals.
When should my child see a doctor?
In most cases, herpes tends to go away on their own and do not require visiting a doctor. However, you should see a doctor under the following circumstances:
- Symptoms get worse
- New symptoms occur
- Symptoms don’t go away after 2 weeks
- If your baby shows any signs of herpes and is less than 6 months old
Usually, the outbreaks will disappear within a two-week period, but there are a few medications you can take to help with the pain and irritation and make it go away faster.
- Antiviral medication for adults.
- Panadol or paracetamol for children and over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen.
- Eating cool foods and drinks can help reduce pain.
How to prevent herpes:
- The only way to prevent herpes from occurring is by preventing contact with anyone who has the signs.
- If someone is suffering from herpes, keep their drinking and eating utensils separate from everyone else’s.
- Do not share towels and wash them well after being used by someone who has herpes.
- Avoid kissing someone with herpes.
- Wash hands regularly, especially after touching a cold sore. It is also important to avoid touching the eyes after touching oral herpes as it can be quite dangerous.
Further reading: How to Spot Series: Urinary Tract Infection in Children