Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus. It will interest you to know that cold sore has nothing to do with cold despite the name. Small blisters typically form around the mouth and lip but can also appear on the cheeks, chin, and nose. The cold sore will ooze, form a crust and later heal within two weeks.
In some cases, the infection can occur many times in a child’s life and at the same spot. The virus becomes dormant and settles in the nervous system of the body, and when triggered, is reactivated on the body surface.
Common Symptoms Of Cold Sores In Children
The symptoms will manifest differently in children. During the first infection, symptoms may not appear in some children, while others may experience ulcers in and around the mouth and severe flu-like symptoms.
Here are some symptoms of a cold sore:
- Burning, itching sensation around the mouth, nose, and lips.
- Small blisters in the mouth and lips that release fluids and later crust over in 2 to 3 days.
- Soreness in the lip and mouth that clears entirely after 4 to 10 days without leaving any scar.
Since its symptoms are like other health conditions, it is important to visit a healthcare practitioner for your child’s diagnosis.
How Parents Can Help Treat Cold Sores
After your child’s diagnosis, the cold sore treatment will depend on the age, symptoms, how severe the child’s condition is, and their health.
Though some cold sores may take longer than others to heal, the good news is that as a parent, you can always take these measures to ease discomfort:
- Apply ice to ease your child’s fever and blister pain.
- Chilled smoothies help soothe the lips and make them tender to avoid dehydration.
- Do not give your child acidic food during the outbreak. This can irritate the cold sore.
- If the pain is severe that the kid cannot eat or drink, the paediatrician can prescribe pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen and some antiviral creams to reduce the pain.
- Avoid triggers such as skin irritation that can cause cold sore by applying lotion or lip bum with zinc oxide or sunscreen before going out.
- Ensure your child eats a balanced diet, exercises, and gets enough rest.
- Manage your kid’s stress, which can lead to a cold sore.
How To Prevent Cold Sores From Spreading
Cold sores can be very contagious. They can spread through skin contact, saliva, touching objects that have been in contact with an infected person. To prevent the spread of this infectious condition, observe the following:
- Ensure your child does not pick or scratch the cold sore. That can lead to the spread of the fever blister to other parts of the body like eyes and fingers.
- Make sure you wash their toys and other objects they use to play to avoid spreading the disease to other children in the house or around them.
- As your child gets treatment, do not allow him/her to share utensils, toothpaste, towels, or other objects to avoid spreading through saliva.
- Avoid sharing clothes and towels during this period.
- Make sure you wash towels and linens using hot water after use.
- Clean mats and other household equipment thoroughly after use.
- If your child actively participates in outdoor activities such as sports, they should avoid these activities during the infection’s active period.
Though there is no cure for cold sore, with the above guidelines, you will be able to safeguard your child’s health and the people around them during the virus infection period.