You don't want this to happen to your child.
Ariana DiGrigorio shared a post on Facebook in August in anticipation of flu season, urging people to keep their mouths away from babies. She wrote, "Please keep your mouths/breaths away from a baby's face, hands, and feet. Don't be the reason a baby is hospitalized (or dead) because the baby was 'just so cute I had to kiss her!'"
DiGrigorio is passionate about spreading awareness because of what she went through with her own baby earlier this year. When Antonio, her now healthy little boy, was 8 months old he had to be hospitalized after catching respiratory syncytial virus.
According to the CDC, "RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults." As you can see from the picture of Antonio, RSV hit him hard.
RSV isn't the only virus to worry about.
If a baby catches herpes simplex virus 1, the virus that causes cold sores, it can put that child's life at risk. Oh, and just because you can't see a cold sore on someone doesn't mean your baby isn't at risk. If not treated, an HSV-1 infection in a newborn leads to death in about 60 percent of cases.
How dangerous is kissing for babies?
“Spread of infection through kissing depends on a number of factors, such as where the baby was kissed--near her mouth or nose is worse than on her feet, and kisses on fingers are also worse, as babies can suck their fingers,” says WebMD senior medical director and pediatrician Hansa Bhargava, MD.
Also, establish healthy baby habits.
Here are some practices that can help keep your baby healthy:
- Make sure your baby is up to date on vaccinations
- Have people coming into contact with your baby wash their hands with soap and water often
- Inform visitors that you have a "no kissing baby" policy before they go near the baby
- Avoid touching your face
- Don't share cups or utensils
- Cough into a tissue or the crook of your elbow
- Disinfect surfaces that may have been coughed or sneezed on
- Tell people who are sick to stay away
- If anything seems off with your baby, talk to their doctor
None of this information is intended to frighten you, it's intended to keep you informed so that you can keep your baby healthy.