Once you notice a little crankiness in your children followed by an ugly cold sore showing up on your child’s lip, it’s time to change your strategy of disease prevention for your children.
Resources on Cold Sores Are Available
There are plenty of good resources on how to prevent cold sores – from reports on cold sores from the official Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to brochures on cold sores from your pediatrician’s office to even info found on the internet from the Mayo Clinic or Web MD.
Cold sores have been researched for decades and there is plenty of knowledge out there about what to do about them. To this day, there is no known medical cure for herpes cold sores, and your best strategy is prevention and cold sore home remedies from your kitchen cabinets and bathroom medicine cabinet.
What To Keep in Mind
The primary point is that when a child has cold sores, it indicates that first of all, that child has been infected with the herpes virus, and secondly that something is a little off in your child’s diet or immune system. This just means it’s time to get to work. Start teaching your children how to prevent transmission of the cold sores virus to the other members in the family. Below is a list of some of those prevention tips.
What to Teach Your Kids About Cold Sores Prevention
1. Don’t Handle the Area
After your child starts feeling tingling in the lip, or has a noticeable area of redness that looks like a cold sore bursting out, do not touch the area. This tip will involve a lot of reminding to your child.
2. Save Your Kisses
Again, after your child starts feeling tingling in the lip or has a noticeable area of redness that looks like a cold sore bursting out, it’s time to save kisses up for about a week. There can be plenty of kisses later, just not now. Kissing is a primary method of spreading the virus, and if the person kissed has any open nick or small tear in the skin, the virus can enter.
3. New Toothbrush Needed
At the first sign of a cold sore, get a new toothbrush. Discard that toothbrush when the cold sore is gone. You may see this tip as a waste of money; however, toothbrushes remain moist for long hours at a time and can be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. New toothbrushes are easily obtainable at the dollar stores.
4. Protein Inhibits the Virus
Check your child’s diet. Has he or she been eating enough protein foods? These foods include chicken, fish, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, bison, and other wild meats. Protein in the diet from these sources is high in lysine, which can inhibit the herpes virus.
5. Less Nuts
Another diet tip is that if your child has been eating a lot of nuts, the arginine in nuts is a good way to activate the dormant herpes virus in the body. Limit your child’s consumption to a handful and never allow nuts to be eaten for a whole meal.
6. Stop the Sugar
Sugar is next on the list. Sugar is a trigger for the herpes virus and can reactivate it. It’s always best if your child’s diet has very little sugar in it from processed foods or spoonfuls of sugar from a sugar bowl. However, kids are often exposed to sugar at school or when visiting friends. Make a rule you’re your children that they can remember: When you eat sugar, only eat one serving.
7. Supplements Help
Another rule for your children is about taking their supplements. Since every study of children – and adults – proves that we all have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it’s best to be proactive and prevent them from occurring with a supplement. The easiest way to develop infections of any kind – herpes cold sores, included, is to have preexisting vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Make it a rule in your house for your child to daily take a multiple vitamin mineral supplement.
How to Teach Your Child What To Do When A Cold Sore Appears
The other part of teaching your children about this aspect of health prevention is to tell him what to do – and teach him what to do when a cold sore appears in its early stages. The easiest way to do this is to have a little cold sore kit in a special place in the bathroom with a stick-umm on the mirror that says, “Cold sore kit in Drawer #1.”
Inside the kit are cotton balls or q-tips, a bottle of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If your child is very young, of course, you’ll be taking care of this for him or her. If your child is older than 8 years old, just having the kit available makes it easy for him or her to take care of the issue right away. Of course, you’ll have to walk your child through the steps several times for the child to be able to do it on his own later.
Using these strategies, your child can become quite successful in preventing – and treating cold sores when they appear.
[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 currently lives with her very 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 website.]
Image: Walt Stoneburner