AIBU to feel sorry for the Dad who's baby

(74 Posts)
molly199 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:00:05

Died from the herpes virus.

It such a sad circumstance, and its good that the news is making people aware of it.

But there is a big focus on the fact the Father gave it to the baby (from a kiss), I feel so sorry for him. As it's been really publicised that he did it.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 05-Mar-13 14:05:24

I read this story this morning, so awful, but I agree with it being publicised to raise awareness. I hadn't realised something like this could happen and I'm 7 months pregnant, after reading the article it's made me more aware and I'll be keeping anyone with a coldsore away when baby arrives. The father may have agreed to tell the story from that particular angle to stop it happening to another child.

He didn't know, it was a tragic accident he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
I feel for the man, I really do.

FakePlasticLobsters Tue 05-Mar-13 14:11:32

I have a friend whose daughter died from the exact same virus, which she caught from my friend kissing her, shortly after she was born. She was just a few days old when she died.

My friend does everything she can to raise awareness in the hope of preventing this from happening to any other family.

I am sure that's why this family agreed to share their son's story. People don't realise how deadly a cold sore can be to a young baby.

When I had my son I was very aware of the dangers, thanks to my friend's efforts to raise awareness, and was especially careful around my niece, who is prone to cold sores. A few family members were a bit hmm about it as it was ''just" a cold sore but when I told them about my friend and her baby they were shocked and a lot more understanding.

I think that's the problem. People think "just' a cold sore without actually thinking about the virus that causes it or the dangers it might pose.

LaVitaBellissima Tue 05-Mar-13 14:14:30

Do you have a link?

molly199 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:15:04

It is shocking, I sometimes get coldsores when I'm really run down..But in future if I'm around a child I will be extremely careful, it just never occured to me before.

BridgetBidet Tue 05-Mar-13 14:16:35

His wife was on TV this morning saying he is very, very upset over it and blames himself despite her being absolutely adamant it wasn't his fault.

So sad. They have another baby due in 5 weeks. I know it will never replace their little boy but I hope it manages at least to help them come to terms with everything and look to the future.

gollygosh123 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:16:52

If ur partner gets them rarely but hasn't one at all at time of birth - is it safe?

molly199 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:18:12

The father had the coldsore present, so if its not actually present then i assume it would be ok. However, the baby could have had a low immune system or another unknown reason for contracting it.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 05-Mar-13 14:19:49

It's astounding how unaware people are though. Dps father visited when one of mine was a baby and I was branded a complete psychopath for asking him not to kiss the baby as he had a coldsore.

Ds1 gets them now and I'm militant about not letting him near small children and not sharing cups etc when he has a flareup.... Yet dds bf stayed over with a vicious coldsore and clearly had no idea she could spread it and was trying to share drinks and constantly touching it then handling food/toys. She has a baby nephew who she sees regularly sad

ChipTheFish Tue 05-Mar-13 14:32:58

It's so sad. It wasn't an issue I was aware of either. Me and DP haven't got kids yet, but we are planning on trying this year. I actually made a point of saying to him last night, so we know for the future.

WhoPaintedTheLion Tue 05-Mar-13 14:38:30

My goodness, how sad sad

How long is it so dangerous for?

Many years ago I started a job in a laboratory. The person who was teaching me on the job, made sure she broke out a new set of pipettes for me to use, as she didn't want me catching the cold sore virus from her, via the pipettes that she used.

This was nearly 25 years ago, so it's not new information, it's just not well publicised, plus I think people have the "won't happen to me" mentality sometimes.

DS gets coldsores. Not sure where from, as no-one else in our family gets them. Quite possibly from someone sharing something at nursery years ago, which is when we discovered he got them. We are very careful when they break out (luckily not often) but I will be reinforcing the need to be careful with him, to reduce the chance of him passing the virus on.

QueenOfCats Tue 05-Mar-13 14:43:58

Of course yanbu - why on earth would you think you were?

I had a coldsore just after DD's birth. I was aware of this but I live in Canada and it is one of the things they talk to you about.

LtEveDallas Tue 05-Mar-13 14:56:46

I had 2 cold sores when DD was born (prematurely). I always get them when I am run down, and boy was I run down then - I'd been in hospital for 3 months.

The nurses, as soon as they saw them erupt, told me that I mustn't kiss the baby when it was born. I thought they were loons blush. I remember telling my sister on the phone about the "bloody German Doctors and their ridiculous rules" (and yes I am bloody ashamed of that now).

It wasn't until I was actually in labour a few days later that the Doc explained why I shouldn't kiss DD with a cold sore. I had no idea.

It is definately something that should be more publicised.

That poor family. I hope the new baby brings some peace and joy back into their lives.

TotallyBursar Tue 05-Mar-13 14:58:50

I've mentioned it before on here an got hmm looks.
With this the main risk will be maternal transmission, which is why it's really important to make it known you have it then infection by others - the trouble is knowing how close you may be to an outbreak or in some cases if you have it.
It is very important to be aware of, in cases where lots of visitors may be meeting your newborn I can't say I know the status of everyone so said snuggles fine kisses no ta, but it is still a relatively small risk.
Devastating for the families affected though. The guilt when you lose a child, even in circumstances you can't help, is terrible - knowing how you could blame yourself (I wouldn't blame this dad) must be a level of torture I can't imagine - and we put ourselves through the wringer when we lost our son. Poor guy, poor family.

If you get coldsores then knowing is half the battle.

JenaiMorris Tue 05-Mar-13 14:58:59

I honestly had absolutely no idea. Isn't it very unusual though? How does in compare in terms of risk to any other common and usually benign ailment?

my DD gets coldsores (most likely from DH or her GF who both get them. i have never had a coldsore as i wont kiss either when they have them...) and i told her she mustnt kiss newborn DNeice when she has them (so as to not pass the virus on) but i never knew it could be fatal for a newbornsad

that poor familysad

StuntGirl Tue 05-Mar-13 15:09:04

I didn't know about this. I don't get cold sores but my partner has had them in the past. I'll make sure he knows about it, would bloody hate to do this to one of our friends kids, christ.

ChunkyPickle Tue 05-Mar-13 15:11:54

DP gets them, and we're aware of the dangers, and he was always super, super careful around me because he'd be devastated if he infected me or our DS.

I've been keeping DP away from these reports because I'm pregnant again and I don't want him thinking about it - he already takes anti-virals, covers an outbreak at night, ensures we use different towels/don't share pillow cases etc. and I don't want him to get even more worried about it.

It does need to be more publicised. I think people are far to lacksidaisical about coldsores. TBH I'd prefer if nurseries asked children with a live outbreak to stay home as I can't see how you can prevent transmission.

WilsonFrickett Tue 05-Mar-13 15:15:18

I do get coldsores and am always militant about not going near a baby with them - but only because I know I can pass on the virus. I had no idea until I read that article that the virus could kill a baby. I think it's shocking that there isn't more publicity around this.

And that poor family sad

Startail Tue 05-Mar-13 15:26:55

I get cold sores as does DM and I don't kiss anyone except DH if I have one.

He doesn't mind and seems to be immune to catching them envy

I was vaguely aware the virus was dangerous to small/prem babies, but not how dangerous.

Some clear, detailed non alarmist publicity is needed.

Huge sympathy for the poor baby's parents.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Tue 05-Mar-13 15:36:41

Surely it's common sense not to kiss anyone or share cuttlery etc when you have a coldsore? confused This is how they spread and once you have one they never go. Why on earth would anyone want to kiss someone when they have a coldsore?

Poor family though sad

Such a sad story.

That poor dad. (And mum of course)


oldraver Tue 05-Mar-13 17:00:29

I think a lot of people see coldsores as nuisance but trivial. My Mum gets loads but will never kiss anyone when she has them, I had a friend who would always keep her Lip Balm to herself and throw away after an outbreak.

My OH suffers from coldsores and didnt realise you weren't supposed to kiss anyone anywhere when you had them

Kendodd Tue 05-Mar-13 17:09:00

I have 3 DCs and have never heard of this, never read any info about it, never seen any warnings. This must be a known risk, I should have heard.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Tue 05-Mar-13 17:09:43

Don't share glasses/towels/cutlery/food or kiss. I won't allow ds to kiss me anywhere when I have a coldsore and I won't kiss him anywhere. You have to be so careful.

TroublesomeEx Tue 05-Mar-13 17:14:37

I had no idea they were so dangerous either.

I know to avoid kissing because they're easily spread and that once you have the virus it lives in your body indefinitely.

But I had no idea a baby could die from the virus.

So, so sad. sad

LadyPessaryPam Tue 05-Mar-13 17:24:10

If you have genital herpes it's pretty dangerous to the baby if you have an attack when you give birth I believe. This is because essentially it's the same herpes virus that causes this and bog standard cold sores round the mouth.

CSIJanner Tue 05-Mar-13 17:37:37

My sister caught one years ago when someone kissed her aged 4 so my mother always told us to cuddle only when a cold sore appears. Same as cold and my elderly parents - I stay away.

The poor family though - It's devastating

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Mar-13 17:49:21

I get cold sores really bad, I'm currently sat here with 5 on my lips and chin. I take anti viruals when I have them, I use patches to cover them don't share anything that goes near my face and obsessively use hand gel. The only reason I knew about the risk to tiny babies was because I was told in a hospital abroad, even HCP'S over here don't seam to be very aware.

Few people even realise that whilst yes its most contagious when you have a sore they can be passed on even when you do not have an active sore.

And yes I've been spoken to like I'm a nut job when I've asked people who had them to wash hands before the pick up any of my babies and not to kiss them.people just don't know about the risk.

I feel for that family and I hope they find peace with what happened.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 05-Mar-13 17:49:37

i've never had cold sores, but my mom and hubby both have.

Both were bought up to know you DONT kiss ANYONE when you have one and have religiously stuck to it.

Im amazed it isnt common knowledge.

Booboostoo Tue 05-Mar-13 17:54:47

I get cold sores and apart from when I contracted them (from kissing a guy who had one and didn't say anything) I've known that you don't kiss, you don't share utensils/towels/sheets, you don't touch them and touch other people and you are 1000% more careful around babies under 2 years old.

I am surprised so many people do not know how contageous and dangerous they can be.

midastouch Tue 05-Mar-13 17:56:27

I feel very sorry for him, i cannot imagine the pain from grief he is in. I had a cold sore when DD was 6 months old (obviously older and stronger than his DC) and i still kissed her it never crossed my mind, its habit to kiss your babies! Poor man!

LifeSavedbyLego Tue 05-Mar-13 17:58:09

Heavens. I didn't know this and I read everything going when ds1 was a pfb. Jesus Christ I could have killed him.

My heart truly goes out to this man.

WilsonFrickett Tue 05-Mar-13 17:58:37

I know it's common knowledge Wrangler, but I didn't know the consequences could be so devastating. So when my friend has her baby soon, previously I would have visited when I had a cold sore and just not kissed the baby, now I would probably not visit at all if I have an active outbreak (baby is likely to be preemie too so just not worth the risk).

I will measure the risks differently know I know it can kill is what I'm saying.

Rosehassometoes Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:26

I remember a teacher telling me about this in year 6. Think we must have been doing sex ed or something as she said to make sure have german measles jab and never let other people kiss your baby pn thr lips. It's stuck with me- I've never had a cole sore but I've also never kissed my 3 month old on the lips- will when he's older but mouths are full of germs.

BegoniaBampot Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:28

i think people know they are contagious, just not so dangerous.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Mar-13 18:03:01

This is awful news and totally avoidable. I feel so sorry for the man and his family.

It was on the list of warnings given me by my mid wife over 21 years ago now.

When do warnings like this cease to be important info given to parents?

Rosehassometoes Tue 05-Mar-13 18:14:27

morethan I was in yr 6 21 years ago- wonder if there was a campaign/something in the news then.

I feel so sorry for him, it's just tragic...

I knew herpes was dangerous for babies as I know someone who has it and had to have a C-Section as she had an attack near the end of her pregnancy. I think people just sometimes forget it's the same thing.

I didn't know about this, it's awful sad

Glad I read it on here as my LO is due in one week and I wouldn't have given a second thought to cold sores. I am glad that the dad has been string enough for this to go public and raise awareness - what a brave man. I hope their new baby helps to ease some of their pain.

Kaida Tue 05-Mar-13 19:39:31

I said the same thing a while ago on here ChunkyPickle, about shutting nurseries and was roundly told I was being ridiculous and that my DC with eczema (another risk category for herpes deaths) would just have to risk dying from another child's coldsore or stay home himself (presumably all the time as how would I know which children might have one) rather than them stay home when having an outbreak.

DH has the virus but didn't know it was even a virus until I told him, he thought coldsores were just something everyone got. He's now super careful.

Kaida Tue 05-Mar-13 19:40:57

Not "shutting nurseries", DC staying home when infectious. Ooops.

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 19:54:50

The problem with keeping a child with a cold sore home from nursery [and school?] is that sufferers can have several in sucession, they can be triggered by the sun, they can also be triggered by the cold! so does that mean if a child suffers from them they should never go to nursery?

I know for some the risks are very serious, but I think it would be better to educate people about preventing the spread of them.

I feel very sorry for this man.

I do remember a similar case a few years back, but it was the Mum that passed it on.

Glittertwins Tue 05-Mar-13 20:00:32

I get them when I am stressed, lips get too dried out or sunshine too. I am fanatical about keeping my face away from DCs if I think one is coming up as well. I have a an old sample tube from hospital (never used for its intended purpose!) that I keep Zovirax and cut up cotton buds in so I never touch it either.

BruisedFanjo Tue 05-Mar-13 20:20:30

I get cold sores v badly, the last outbreak lasted 6 months and spread all down my chin and halfway up cheek. Each outbreak leaves scars and the skin trauma has caused exfoiative cheilitis and dermatitis. I'm now on long term antivirals for suppression which cause sickness, dizzyness and have exacerbated a mental health problem I have - but I put up with that as the doctor was very clear on how dangerous the virus could be to DD if she caught it - especially if she is the same as me re: weakness to the virus.

I feel so sorry for the father, not just how he will be feeling now, but he will probably never be able to relax around his new baby when he has an outbreak either. Always be scared and paranoid about what could happen. sad

FakePlasticLobsters Tue 05-Mar-13 20:41:04

My friend had never had a cold sore before the one she got when her daughter was born.

It was just a small spot on her lip and even her midwife said it was nothing to worry about, just something that had happened because she was run down after giving birth.

And they didn't warn her that the virus could be passed to her baby, not just through kissing but through perhaps just accidentally brushing against it without realising and then touching her daughter.

That first link, about this poor man and his wife and son, says that breastfeeding can also pass the virus on, which I hadn't realised. They do need to make people more aware of the risks and dangers, because people do dismiss them as 'just' a cold sore and nothing much to worry about.

QOD Tue 05-Mar-13 20:54:08

I'm sure someone on here's baby died from this, there's been a post before.
It's so awfully sad

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Mar-13 01:32:13

Can I just clarify that it is not the breast milk that transfers the virus so a baby cannot catch it just from breast feeding in its self.

Herpies sores can turn up anywhere, the virus that causes cold sores (type 1)are more common above the waist like breasts neck face ect the transfer occurs when the baby touches a sore with any part of its body where ever that sore happens to be on your body.

Or you touch a sore then touch your baby.

So its not the actual feeding method that transmits the virus its the skin contact during the feeding that does.

But another weird thing about type 1 is that it is compleatly possible and not that rare to have genital herpies but for them to still be type 1 instead of the expected type 2.

People tend to fiddle with their faces often without even being aware they have done so they can then infect another part of there body (or someone else's) quite easily but if transmitted like that to the genitals won't change the type it is. It will still show on a swab as type 1 not type 2

whoopwhoopbib Wed 06-Mar-13 03:39:01

Phew Sockreturningpixie I am so glad you clarified the bf bit!! I'm feeding dd right now whilst sporting the remains of a coldsore and just broke out in a cold sweat thinking I was passing it onto her!!!

I knew that coldsores could be this dangerous so when dd was born I said sil wasn't to kiss her as she had very recently had a couple of them in a row. I was met with hmm but I stuck to it.

I also get them.on my eyelids and am very angry when I hear of people who carry on.kissing others regardless because this is how they are spread. If the sore moves from the eyelid to the eye you can lose your vision.

I am currently wearing my short hair tied up so although it looks silly I know it won't have been face, I constantly wash my hands and got dp to take her swimming last week as I'm not sure how they transmit in water. Extreme to some but I would rather not risk passing them onto a baby who can then easily spread them around her body.

aurynne Wed 06-Mar-13 04:02:06

The cold sore virus can also pass to the eyes and damage the cornea. in severe cases it can cause blindness. That's why it is also not recommended to touch your own cold sore, as you can then touch your eyes inadvertently and infect them.

I think one of the difficulties in the English language is that you guys refer to the labial herpes and the genital herpes with different names ("cold sore" and "herpes"), so many people have no idea they are the same virus (herpes simplex). In Spanish, for example, both are called just "herpes".

Kaida Wed 06-Mar-13 05:54:32

But AmberSun, doesn't it make more sense for toddlers to be kept home when infectious rather than vulnerable toddlers having to stay home all the time? By school age I would expect DC to have been taught both to protect themselves if vulnerable and practise proper hygiene if infectious, but toddlers cannot be expected to do either. It's especially problemous with toddlers IMO as due to common age gaps many nursery-goers have very young baby siblings.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Mar-13 07:56:16


When you've got sores a really good way of hugely reducing transfer risk to a young baby, is a really simple sleep suit on the baby. one of the ones that has fold over bits on the wrist that are scratch mits when folded over the hands

That way the baby has no exposed skin other than face and neck and there own hands are covered so no accidental touching happens.

WilsonFrickett Wed 06-Mar-13 11:09:27

Sock, that has actually just made me cry. Something as simple as that could have saved that poor wee baby sad

AmberLeaf Wed 06-Mar-13 11:16:13

I do get your point Kaida, but that could mean a child with cold sores barely attending nursery, what if that childs parents work? what are they supposed to do?

ChunkyPickle Wed 06-Mar-13 11:35:38

Amber, I don't know, it's tough - perhaps the same as any other parent with a child with a ongoing problem.

Children and adults should not be getting recurring coldsores. If they are, then they need to see the doctor and get anti-virals, or work on the triggers in their diet.

By adjusting his diet, making sure he drinks enough and sleeps enough we have got DPs attacks down to about one a year (and that's normally after eating something he shouldn't/getting run down), and they are of greatly reduced duration and severity.

A coldsore isn't like a cold, it's an awful, painful virus that can cause real damage, and I think that people need to be aware of that.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Wed 06-Mar-13 11:51:35

My mum is a nurse.

She had a massive cold sore whe she saw DD1 for the first time and kissed her several times.

My DH was furious and I asked my mum not to kiss DD1 until the cold sore had healed.

She lost sleep over it, big drama, and was upset for weeks, if not months. I ruined her encounter with her first GC, she says.

She mentions it regularly (every time I am worri about one of our DCs being ill) as her friends agree with her that DH and I are overly anxious parents.

I wish I could send her the article, but there is no point.

havingamadmoment Wed 06-Mar-13 12:00:40

I get cold sores every now and then (not very often maybe once or year or less) I am lucky that they are pretty minor and go very quickly but I did not know about the risk to babies. I dont think I have ever had one while pregnant but I remember having one when I had the flu when dc4 was tiny. I didnt kiss her not because i was aware of the risks but because it was sore to touch!. DH has never had one neither have any of my dcs. The only person I know who did get them (from childhood according to her) was my grandmother. I remember getting one as a very young child.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 06-Mar-13 12:31:17

I know whoop, simple things like covering skin washing hands and keeping face/ sores away from contact. Can completely prevent transmission.

The poster up thread whose mother is a nurse, your mother needs to retrain or listen to you.

whoopwhoopbib Wed 06-Mar-13 21:24:04

I am frequently told by other people who have them that they kiss their partners and they have never caught them but what they don't realise is that it may be lying dormant in them.

I can't believe how much ignorance there is about coldsores especially from the posters nurse mum and my bil is training to be a GP but still kisses sil when she has a sore - it doesn't make me feel confident!

I really think that there should be more information given to sufferers as I know I would be devastated if I passed a coldsore onto someone else which is why I go to the lengths I do to protect those around me (not a martyr really!)

ots Wed 06-Mar-13 23:22:01

A colleague lost her DGS at a few days old as his mum had a coldsore and kissed him.
When I was pregnant, she offered to knit DS a jumper saying "please do not kiss me". Nice thought but I did decline.
I get coldsores a lot and thanks to her, I knew not to kiss DS if I had one when he was tiny. It really needs to be explained to parents more.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 06-Mar-13 23:32:18

It's a tragedy, poor man, hopefully this case will get enough publicity to prevent future tragediessad

foxy6 Wed 06-Mar-13 23:48:13

My Dd died from this when she was 15 days old we never figured out where she caught it from. I tell everyone I know having a baby to make them aware. That was 17 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't thinly about her and miss her.

So sorry foxy. There aren't words.

LaVitaBellissima Thu 07-Mar-13 07:57:59

So sorry Foxy sad

Thingymajigs Thu 07-Mar-13 08:02:29

I had no idea this could happen. After ds1 was born I became ill with all sorts of infections and a very nasty coldsore that spread across my mouth and chin. No one ever mentioned that this could've been seriously harmful to my baby.

Thingymajigs Thu 07-Mar-13 08:03:39

So sorry foxy. sad

FakePlasticLobsters Thu 07-Mar-13 12:20:09

So sorry for your loss foxy

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 07-Mar-13 22:48:31

Foxy so sorry for your loss.

WhyMeWhyNot Thu 07-Mar-13 22:58:25

Our midwives aren't allowed to work on delivery or post natal if they have a cold sore because of the risk of transmitting the virus, the virus is extremely easy to transmit ....

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Mar-13 00:07:51

Whyme, what advice are you given to avoid transmission

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