What are the dangers of kissing babies?
Sweet and squishy baby cheeks are hard to resist kissing, but doing so can cause serious health consequences. In order to prevent serious health issues, anyone and everyone, including parents, should avoid kissing babies. Due to the rise in cases of RSV and other illnesses, it’s extremely important for all individuals to be aware of the dangers of kissing babies.
Can kissing a baby make them sick?
Though kissing an infant doesn’t always cause RSV or other illnesses, it can spread germs that can lead to illnesses that newborn immune systems find it hard to fight. What are the dangers of kissing babies? Is it really that important? Yes, it truly is. Here’s what you need to know about kissing babies and how to properly take precautions to protect your little ones from harm.
The Risks of Kissing Babies
A parent or family member’s love and affection is a vital part of each and every child’s development. However, failing to take precautions can be seriously harmful to an infant. Here are some of the problems that kissing an infant can cause:
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
RSV is a very serious and potentially fatal condition that can be passed through physical contact or through the passing of infected respiratory droplets via a cough or sneeze. Even if you aren’t feeling under the weather, if you’ve recently had a cold or sinus infection, it’s absolutely essential not to hold, touch, and especially kiss a newborn or infant. RSV can cause severe breathing problems and can also affect the heart and brain.
Immune System Vulnerability
Newborns are born with developing immune systems which have to work hard to keep their tiny bodies from fighting off disease and infection. Within the first few months of life, babies are at their most vulnerable stage. Though the soft and fluffy cheeks may be tempting, remember to pause and think about the risks of kissing the infant when you consider that the germs you are spreading are foreign invaders which can put up a fight against his or her little body.
Believe it or not, a kiss from someone with food particles or skin-care products can cause or irritate food allergies in a newborn. Whether it’s just chapstick or moisturizer, some ingredients could be harmful to your newborn. Skincare products can also cause exposure to seriously harmful chemicals. It’s also of great importance to remember that if an individual has recently consumed nuts, dairy, soy, or other foods that can be the cause of common food allergies, your newborn may be exposed to a substance which you are unaware he or she may be allergic to.
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is common, but there are ways to prevent your child from getting it or spreading the disease to others. Hand, foot, and mouth is a virus that causes ulcers and rashes around the mouth, hands, feet, and leg area. Though anyone can catch hand, foot, and mouth disease, it’s more common in children under the age of ten. While it’s not typically life-threatening, it can cause problems in infants with weaker immune systems, and older siblings who contract the virus may have to miss school for an indefinite period of time/
One of the most serious risks that come from kissing babies is the transfer of fever blisters, also known as cold sores. HSV 1 causes fever blisters to form around the baby’s mouth and can spread to other areas of the body, even their brain. Cold sores are very common in many individuals, so everyone should be aware before they go to kiss a baby. For some, this can cause long-term or fatal damage.
How to Protect Your Baby from RSV and Other Illnesses
Understanding the risks of kissing babies is one step to protecting your child from harmful diseases. However, there are other steps to take to ensure your child is further shielded from preventable damage. Taking precautionary measures to protect your child from becoming sick from someone’s affection can help save their life.
When individuals are aware of the risks and dangers surrounding kissing babies, it is a lot easier to protect your child. Though you may consider precautionary practices to be common sense, others may not. Therefore, educating others is a great way to help them become more aware of the risks and dangers of kissing and/or showing affection to babies. Do not be afraid to advocate for your child and to request individuals refrain from visiting him or her after an illness or to avoid kissing your child to prevent the passing of germs which can cause life-threatening illnesses.
Maintaining Good Hygiene
It’s no surprise that good overall hygiene helps protect everyone from harmful bacteria and diseases. However, it’s even more important to consider when you are around babies. From regular hygiene to oral hygiene, it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself as well as your infant. A few ways to maintain good hygiene is to:
- Bathe yourself and your baby daily
- Wash your hands after eating, cleaning, or other daily activities
One easy way to protect your child from infection and disease is to be aware of the individuals you are surrounding yourself and your child with. As we previously mentioned, the first few months of your child’s life are the most vulnerable stages. Therefore, consider avoiding anyone and anything that could possibly cause health issues for your child.
Pediatric Care at Pediatrics East
Pediatrics East exists to care for and serve your child in health and wellness. Our team works daily to provide the best care for your child through services like sudden illness appointments, checkups, immunizations, and more. For information on how we can serve you and your child, read more about the services we offer.
To schedule an appointment or to speak with our staff, contact us today.