Protect the baby...from my cold sores
January 2, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

How can I keep from transmitting my cold sores to my 10 month old son ?

I do everything I can to prevent direct contact, but he's a baby so there is a lot of contact and a certain unpredictability.
posted by AuntLisa to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
My mom got them occasionally when we were kids, and she just did as you did, trying to avoid direct contact (kissing, nuzzling, etc) while she had them. Neither my brother nor I ever ended up getting them, so even if you aren't perfect, common sense and a little caution will probably work fine.
posted by olinerd at 10:16 AM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Also, use ABREVA - that cream works miracles in shortening healing time.
posted by pinksoftsoap at 10:31 AM on January 2, 2008

2nding avoiding contact, frequent handwashing, and ABREVA, additionally you can get a prescription from your Dr for an antiviral to speed healing time and lessen the amount of transferable virus.
posted by estronaut at 10:53 AM on January 2, 2008

Be aware, though, that you can transmit the herpes to the baby without having any symptoms at the time (i.e. active sores, scabs, etc). The chances are lessened, yes, but it is still possible.
posted by tristeza at 11:18 AM on January 2, 2008

My mom and dad both had cold sores occasionally, and my brother and I never got them. They were INSANELY careful about not sharing towels, washing their towels with hot water and bleach after the cold sores healed, not letting us in their bed when one of them had an outbreak, not sharing food or utensils, and not kissing us or putting their faces near to ours when they had one. They were both really conscious about touching their mouths when they had one, too- to this day I cringe when I see someone touch their weepy cold sore like it was just regular skin. If my folks used creams or ointments on the spots, they did it only in the washroom, and washed their hands immediately after, also rinsing down the faucet with their soapy hands as they did so. My mom even hid her toothpaste from us when she had a cold sore, so we wouldn't infect our toothbrushes by touching them to the same toothpaste tube she'd used.

Some stuff to think about- places you might shed virus for sharing, or re-contaminate your hands- so maybe you could wipe them down more often?
Doorknobs, light switches, phone, keyboard, mouse, pen you might nibble on, tasting off a spoon while cooking, any pets you sometimes kiss? I imagine my cat's head is a festering puddle of spit, we all kiss him so much. Maybe use extra-hot water to wash the dishes, too.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:34 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

wow, My Mom had coldsores, didn't do a damn thing to prevent us from getting them, and now we all have them.... I wish she had, but I must say, it's not the end of the world to get cold sores, so if it happens, cut yourself some slack. Abreva hasn't really shortened my cold sores, but it does soothe them. Washing my hands and avoiding contact has worked to prevent the spread to my daughter and husband.
posted by vermontlife at 11:28 AM on January 3, 2008

Taking an antiviral such as Valtrex or Famvir will suppress outbreaks, which can reduce chances of transmitting the virus.
posted by radioamy at 12:51 PM on January 3, 2008

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