So, your child starts to act a little cranky and soon you notice something red and ugly forming on their lip. Yes, they have a cold sore which can leave both you and your child feeling miserable if you don’t change your approach to disease prevention.
Resources on Cold Sores
For all the years spent studying and researching cold sores, there is an extensive amount of information out there concerning them. Currently, there is no known cure for herpes cold sores but there are a few resources that will keep you well-informed on what is known.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should be your most reliable source of information on cold sore remedies and prevention. You can also find information provided through your pediatrician’s office as well as from the Mayo Clinic website or Web MD.
What To Keep in Mind
There are two important things to keep in mind when it comes to cold sores: Preventing outbreaks, and preventing the spread of them to others. This takes some work and care to accomplish as it deals with fixing habits, diet and lifestyle. Below are some tips to get you started towards a better strategy in preventing cold sores.
What Your Kids Should Know About Cold Sores Prevention
1. No Kissing!
While you or your child may like to show that you care through a quick peck on the lips, preventing the spread of the herpes virus is a better way to do it. While your child shows any signs of a cold sore appearing – tingling, noticeable redness – hold back on the smooching. The virus can easily be spread to an uninfected person if there are any nicks or openings present in the skin where contact is made.
2. Don’t Touch!
Touching the area where a cold sore is developing is a habit that must be broken. It can worsen the condition of the area causing further infection and discomfort to your child. Keep an eye on them when you can since kids can easily forget not to touch the sores.
3. Replace That Toothbrush
You may not realize it, but toothbrushes aren’t as clean as you think. They sit in dark, damp bathrooms for most of the day which is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to thrive. That toothbrush needs to go at the first sign of a cold sore and be replaced by a brand-new one which they will only use while they have that cold sore. If you’re worried about the expense, new toothbrushes can be easily found for a reasonable price in bulk or at dollar stores. And, considering your child’s health, a few extra toothbrushes are worth it.
4. More Protein
We’re adamant that our children finish their vegetables, but what about their meat? Foods such as red meats, fish and poultry are high in protein which can help inhibit the herpes virus due to their high amounts of lysine.
5. Less Nuts
If you’re thinking of including nuts in your child’s diet to increase their protein intake, think again. The arginine present in nuts can actually trigger the dormant herpes virus in their body. Your child’s favorite meal of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be the very culprit of their next cold sore outbreak, so cut back on their nut consumption.
6. Cut Back On Sugar
Sugar is a tricky trigger culprit for the herpes virus because it’s often difficult to tell how much we’re actually consuming every day unless we’re spooning it straight from the sugar bowl. Avoid as many processed foods as possible, which often contain high amounts of sugar. Kids will be kids though, and so talk to them about only taking a single serving of sugary foods when they are offered at school or friends’ homes.
Preexisting vitamin and mineral deficiencies are like leaving an open door for infections. Studies show that both children and adults don’t get all the necessary nutrients from daily meals. That leaves the body vulnerable and unable to efficiently battle infections. Make sure your child takes a multi-vitamin daily in addition to well-rounded meals.
Preparing Your Child For Cold Sores
The best thing you can do for your child is to teach them about treating a cold sore in its early stages. If they are under the age of 8, they will need your assistance but once they are old enough they will be able to care for it on their own with the right lessons. The easiest way to get started is to set up a “Cold Sore Kit” for them which can be placed in a drawer or cupboard in the bathroom. Include cotton balls/swabs or q-tips, a bottle of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide in the kit. Label it and make sure your child understands its use and where to find it.
These are simple yet vital tips and strategies that can have your child well on their way to successfully preventing and treating further cold sores.
About the Author
Carrie Shannon is the publisher of YourColdSoreRemedies.com, a website devoted to providing information on effective and safe cold sore remedies. She founded the idea for the site one day when she had an important social event and pondered “What’s the quickest way to get rid of a cold sore?” and YourColdSoreRemedies.com was born. She currently lives with her very supportive and loving husband, Dave, and their two adorable Yorkies, Oscar and Maggie, in Hermosa Beach, California. In her leisure time you can find Carrie walking her dogs on the beach, doing Bikram Yoga, as well as developing her cold sore home remedies website.