The best way to prevent your children from getting cold sores (or fever blisters) is to minimize any close personal contact with a person who has one.
First, begin by teaching your child at an early age not to kiss others on the mouth and not to eat or drink after others. If your child is old enough to use lip balms, tell them not to ever use someone elseís lip balm.
Second, begin to teach them what a cold sore is by showing them one. If itís on a passer by, you will naturally want to be discrete. If you or a family member have one, it will be easier to talk about if the child has questions. You can simply tell your child thatís what a cold sore looks like. They are contagious so you should never drink after someone or kiss anyone who has one. And if you have one, it is easier to get another one, so just donít drink or eat after anyone or use anyone elseís lip balm. The kissing talk can probably come later. The herpes simplex one virus is not the same virus that causes genital herpes. Herpes simplex two is associated with genital herpes. It is important, however, to let adolescents know that you can have a genital outbreak of herpes simplex one if that area comes in contact with an affected person, and vice versa.
Third, if your child is old enough, explain that the germ that causes cold sores is called herpes simplex one. It lives in saliva, or spit. So try not to get coughed or sneezed upon by someone who has a cold sore.
Itís important to remember that almost 90 percent of people over age 30 have tested positive for exposure to the herpes simplex one virus at some time in their lives. Having a cold sore may be painful and unsightly, but it is not the end of the world. Explaining that to a child who has one Ė especially a teenager Ė may not be so easy.
If your child does get a cold sore, talk with your pharmacist about age appropriate treatment to relieve the pain and diminish the sore itself. It will help the child to decrease the intake of salty foods or acidic fruits and juices, like orange juice, during the time he or she has the cold sore. As with any sore, salt and acid tend to burn the sore. There are a number of home remedies for cold sores. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if they are appropriate for your child. Some herbal remedies contain elements that might prove to be toxins if served in the wrong amount to children.
Remind your child that the cold sore will probably go away on its own in two or three days. Like any virus, they just have to work their way out of our system. Help your child diminish the symptoms or appearance of the sore the best you can.
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For more information about cold sores, visit HerpesOrg
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