day care

A 1-Year-Old Caught Herpes At Daycare, But Don’t Let It Freak You Out Too Much

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keep-calmAn Oklahoma mother says her one-year-old caught a terrible case of herpes from her daycare teacher. I have to say this has been something that has crossed my mind before when people with cold sores interacted with my baby. I am admittedly a paranoid mom, so I just pushed the idea that this could actually happen out of my head. I’m glad this story hit the news today, because some further investigation proves it’s probably not something to totally freak out about.

The child’s mouth started bleeding from painful blisters that developed, so mom took her to see her pediatrician. That is when she got the surprising diagnosis that her baby had somehow contracted an infection caused by the herpes virus. When mom called the daycare to tell them about her diagnosis, Child Time daycare admitted that one of their employees had the infection. A doctor explained how the child could have caught it to the local news station, KFOR:

“Herpetic stomatitis is basically when you have multiple cold sores in your mouth,” medical doctor Ryan Brown from OU Children’s explained. “Cold sores are normally caused by herpes simplex one virus. They are very easily spread, by touching and rubbing something else or saliva.”

Virtual Pediatric Hospital explains it as a mouth infection caused by the same herpes virus that causes mouth sores, that is most common in children one to two years old who have not had the virus before. It can cause high fever, sore throat, pain, fatigue and difficulty eating. It’s highly contagious, but usually goes away without treatment in one to two weeks. It doesn’t mention anything about it being recurring or incurable.

A New York Times health blog explains that “approximately 90% of the population carries herpes simplex virus. It is difficult to prevent children from picking up the virus at some time during their childhood.”

The Times blog advises, “Children should strictly avoid close contact with people who have cold sores (for example, no kissing parents who have active cold sores). Children should also avoid other children with herpetic stomatitis. They should not share utensils, glasses, or food with actively infected people.”

It’s not a fun thing to think about and this infected teacher definitely should have been taking precautions to make sure something like this didn’t happen. The mother is right to be horrified, but if you are like me and this type of story would completely freak you out – I just wanted to look into it a little further. You won’t be able to kiss your baby for a few weeks – next to the pain they may experience that may be the hardest part.

(photo: Gajus/ Shutterstock)