Kisses are supposed to be among the ways of expressing your love and affection for someone, but did you know that kisses may kill babies?

Parents should be careful not to let anyone kiss their baby on the lips to reduce any risk of contracting cold sores, or herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Children exposed to this virus, especially those younger than 3 months, may die.

The HSV-1 virus can be transmitted to children through a shared utensil, cup or toy that came in contact with someone who has the virus. Kissing also increases their risk of contracting the virus.

Cold sores are not deadly in themselves, but they can turn fatal in an instant once they affect certain parts of the baby’s body. It may reach the brain or other vital organs, which might sustain damage that may put your child in grave danger.

What you can do is to be extra careful with your baby. This is the biggest precautionary measure that you can take. Do not let anybody kiss your baby on the lips, especially within the first three months of their life. Avoid sharing utensils with your baby.

According to a news article published by ABC, “About 1,500 to 2,200 babies under 1 month old contract herpes each year in the United States, and untreated, the virus is fatal in up to 85 percent of cases.”

Unfortunately, about 70% of these cases are contracted through the birth canal, with the mother carrying the genital herpes, or HSV-2 virus, a type of sexually transmitted disease.

If you know that you are a carrier of the herpes virus, it would be best to resist the feeling of kissing your child. It might just be one of the hardest things a loving and doting parent must do, but you need to do it for the sake of your child.