The Jerusalem Post

Can a kiss on the lips be fatal for babies?

 Mother and baby (photo credit: PEXELS)
Mother and baby
(photo credit: PEXELS)

An expert and mother from Tiny Hearts Education, a company that provides infant care education, explained kisses can cause babies to die thanks to neonatal herpes.

Along with chocolate, kittens, and puppies, babies are among the sweetest things in the world. But did you know that kissing a newborn baby on the lips could cause the newborn to die?

Nikki Jurcutz, an expert from the infant care company "Tiny Hearts Education," warned about the dangers that kissing can pose to babies, according to the British news outlet The Sun.

A light kiss on the lips can lead to the baby getting infected with herpes, which can cause shortness of breath, severe breathing problems, and even death. Jurcutz, who runs the site, said her heart broke when she found seven cold sores on her upper lip just six days after giving birth to her son.

The new mother had herpes, which in adults can cause cold sores and ulcers to develop on the lips and genitals. The reason infants are at such high risk is because their immune systems are not fully developed, Jurcutz explained.


She said this condition is called neonatal herpes. It's very rare in the UK, but if it spreads to a baby's internal organs, it can result in death. 

"The virus can be passed onto the baby through close contact with an infected person, especially during an outbreak," she wrote, according to The Sun.

How to avoid potentially fatal risks to infants

Jurcutz suggested taking several precautions to minimize the risk of babies getting herpes:

 Illustrative image of a baby drinking from a bottle. (credit: PEXELS)
Illustrative image of a baby drinking from a bottle. (credit: PEXELS)
  • Do not kiss your baby's face.
  • Do not kiss your baby's hands.
  • Wear a face mask to cover cold sores when coming into close contact with your baby.
  • Thoroughly use hand sanitizer before holding the baby.
  • Keep the area around the cold sore moist with ice and lipstick.
  • Do not touch the cold sores with your hands.
  • Be careful while breastfeeding. Antibodies from the virus could be transferred to your baby through breast milk.

Jurcutz also urged new parents to warn family members and friends not to kiss the baby on its face when visiting the newborn.