Local mom warns against kissing people’s babies after 6-month-old contracted herpes
“It’s not being ugly or mean to tell people not to kiss your child. They might infect your children.”
Dr Lerato Masemola. (Photo: Supplied)

While many might find it tempting to plant a kiss on a cute baby’s cheeks or lips while playing with them, Dr Lerato Masemola, who is a general practitioner, warns that this action can be quite dangerous.

Taking to Twitter to share her experience, the medical doctor revealed how a relative infected her then 6-month-old daughter with herpes after kissing her.

“Human beings are disgusting... my daughter has herpes on her lips. Got it at 6 months. I can’t get over it. Don’t even get me started about the emotional trauma she gets from the pain and unsightly blisters when it flares up and all the money I’ve spent to keep it suppressed to date,” she wrote.

Speaking to DRUM, the doctor defines herpes as a viral infection that is incurable and is able to infect any part of the body where there are mucous membranes: eyes, nose, lips, mouth and is common around the mouth area and in the genital area.

“You get herpes type 1 which is common around the mouth or lips, and herpes type 2 which is the STI (sexually transmitted infection) type. They both can infect any mucous membrane interchangeably,” she explains.

Although her daughter is now 11 years old, Dr. Masemola says that the infection still affects her because herpes is incurable and therefore a lifelong disease.

“It’s very traumatic for her as the herpes blisters are very painful and they burn.

“So every time she feels a sting or a tingle, she knows they are going to come out. Whenever she gets sick or stresses about a test or a project, they flare up," she says.

Having experienced the dangers herself, Dr. Lerato advises parents to stop allowing people to kiss their children.

“Parents must be firm with people. You cannot allow or be shy to tell people not to kiss your children. Babies are born with weak immune systems which they build up as they grow, which means that they cannot fight off germs up until a certain age,” she explains.

“People should not be kissing children, especially adults, because we don’t know where their mouths have been,” she says.

The doctor also explains how some children are born with immune disorders and get a number of diseases including meningitis after being kissed by a person who carries the bacteria.

“It could be on the forehead or lips or cheeks but that can be the ‘kiss of death’ for that child.

“It’s not being ugly or mean to tell people not to kiss your child. They might give your children infections unknowingly.”

To help prevent your child from contracting any infections, Dr. Lerato says practicing good hygiene and keeping a watchful eye is the way to go.

“Even when you as a parent have fever blisters or feel that they are going to come out, do not go anywhere near a child’s face. Just give the child a hug and don’t kiss them,” she stresses.

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