Please Don’t Kiss My Baby!

The holidays are in full swing. Families and friends are gathering to create memories with new and old additions to the family. This is usually a time when the whole gang will get to meet the new babies in the family. As a new parent or even an experienced parent, you may get a little anxious about all of the extra attention your baby will receive. Your feelings are valid and normal. Recently, there has been a lot of news floating around social media about babies and toddlers contracting the herpes virus. As a nurse practitioner and a mama of 3, I want to give you some facts about the herpes virus so you can prepare your “don’t kiss my baby” speech with confidence.

What is the herpes virus?

15391304_739225042893478_8046012154049856447_oHerpes is an infection caused by a virus. The herpes simplex-1 virus most often causes cold sores and fever blisters. This infection is very common. The Centers for Disease Control, the CDC, estimates that 1 in 6 people aged 14-49 has herpes. Herpes simplex-1 is commonly found in the mouth while herpes simplex-2 is normally in the genital area but the regions can be reversed.

How is it spread?

The herpes virus is quite contagious. It is spread by direct contact with lesions on the mouth. For example, if someone has a blister on his lip and kisses your baby, your baby can get the herpes infection. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a person can also get the herpes virus by coming in contact with the saliva of an infected person even if she doesn’t have a blister present. For example, if an infected friend does not have a blister but kisses your baby’s fingers or face and leaves a little saliva behind (yuck!) your baby can get the herpes infection.

Why is the virus so bad for babies?

Babies have fragile immune systems. As with other viruses – RSV, influenza, etc. – babies take a long time to recover because viruses simply have to run their courses. There are no cures for viruses. What makes the herpes simplex-1 virus so scary is that it affects a baby’s nervous system. Babies don’t simply get a couple of blisters, they can experience serious complications that include a fever, respiratory distress, fatigue, jaundice, seizures, brain swelling and possibly death. I have heard countless stories about babies being hospitalized for being exposed to the herpes virus.

Remember no one is saying Auntie can’t snuggle with her niece or that your BFF can’t love on her new godchild. However, we are saying that you can’t kiss them on the face or hands. Parents, I want to empower you. Never feel uncomfortable speaking up for your voiceless newborn or infant. Just think about it, if they could talk, they would probably say “Um please don’t kiss me. I don’t know where your mouth has been.”

References: www.cdc.org, www.healthychildren.org, www.marchofdimes.org

About Nikki Hunter Greenaway

unnamed (3)Nikki Hunter Greenaway is the proud mother to Joseph, Naomi and Nylah. She is married to her best friend of 13 years, Jason. A native of Dallas, Nikki has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Northwestern University Chicago, a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s in Nursing from LSU. In addition to being a mom and wife, she is the proud owner of Nurse Nikki LLC. She provides postpartum home visits to new moms and their babies during the first week, 2 weeks and 2 months after delivery. She also teaches private and public CPR classes to families, schools and businesses. She is currently completing her studies to become a certified lactation consultant. If you are interested in services visit her website

3 COMMENTS

  1. Amen to this!!!! As a Mom to a 15 month old, it has always made me nervous when people touch & try to kiss my baby. I don’t like it at all & I often think about how she must feel not being able to speak up for herself. I truly believe WE must speak for our little babes when can’t yet speak for themselves.

  2. God bless Dr. sebi for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HERPES since 2014 and I was taking my medications, I wasn’t satisfied i needed to get the HERPES out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for HERPES i saw a comment about Dr. sebi, how he cured HERPES DIABETES and CANCER with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 14 days later i was cured from HERPES, Dr. sebi truly you are great, do you need his help also? Why don’t you contact him through dr.sebitradomedical@gmail.com Or contact his number via (WHATSAPP ONLY: You can also whatsapp him via (+2348148339190)

    • It’s not just lips, it’s kissing babies on the face at all. I wasn’t kissed on the lips but I still got the herpes virus as a baby from a cheek kiss, nearly died, and now I don’t have a sense of smell.
      It’s not worth it.

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