There’s nothing wrong with showing affection for a baby, however, experts warn that kissing them may unintentionally leave a child with a lifelong infection that can cause serious health problems. Babies, especially new-borns, have fragile immune systems, which is why no matter how adorable they are, you should never kiss them on the lips, let alone allow other people to do so. Leah Green, a mother, shared on @tinyheartseducation, an Instagram account, how her daughter got cold sores. Babies are resilient, and the vast majority fare very well, however, they are still vulnerable in the first months of life. Photos/Net “When Sadie (the baby) was approximately 21 months old, she was kissed by an adult on the lips, transferring the horrendous cold sore virus. She got two small spots on her lip then spiked a temperature of 39. Within hours the spots were spreading across her face and white spots formed in her mouth, which turned into this awful puss like stuff that was especially behind her teeth. The slightest touch would make the spots bleed and she would scream in agony. “This meant she couldn’t eat or drink, resulting in weight loss and dehydration. She was absolutely miserable and stuck to my hip for four days straight! Just attempting to put her down made her scream! We went to the doctor to get cream for the spots on her lip but it really was a waiting game for it to clear up. Around the clock Panadol was the only thing helping. Being first-time parents and seeing your child in so much pain was horrific. It was a very very long three weeks so I hope I can help people by spreading awareness!” She wrote. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or oral herpes, start as a small blister on the lips or mouth and can spread to the nose, cheeks, and chin. According to Dr Roxanne MacKnight, a family physician, the virus can quickly spread to other parts of their bodies, producing viral meningitis (inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the spinal cord and brain) and viral encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). It might not be a cold sore for your child, but it could be worse. Doctors warn that our mouths contain a large number of microbes that may not infect adults but can be passed to children and cause significant harm, due to their weakened immune systems. One example could be Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants. This can be passed through physical contact or through infected respiratory droplets via a cough or sneeze. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than one year of age. Another rare but serious problem that may result from kissing babies, especially on the mouth, is allergic reactions. Skincare products can provoke allergies in new-born babies. There are many more other infections or viruses that your baby may contract through being kissed on the mouth. An Iowa couple once issued a warning to parents after their infant died from meningitis after being kissed. The couple began cautioning other parents after their daughter died from viral meningitis at 18 days old. In an article published by Healthline, Dr Dean Blumberg, the chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital, said parents need to be particularly vigilant when their babies are still only a few months old. “The immune system becomes stronger and matures with age,” Blumberg was quoted. “Children are particularly vulnerable to severe infections in the first month of life, and may have particularly serious infections in the first three months of life with few symptoms except for fever.” Viral meningitis is just one of the illnesses that can prove fatal to new-borns, the article states. Nielsen said that before children are immunized, they can catch any illnesses that are preventable by vaccines. Influenza, whooping cough, and other respiratory viruses are some of the diseases that can be serious for babies. Though you may risk being called arrogant or something else that sounds like an insult, it is okay to be firm and stand your ground, whether with family, friends or strangers. Being aware of the risks and dangers that may cause your baby life-threatening illnesses is the first step towards protecting them. Educating and refraining yourself and other people from kissing babies on the mouth is also a form of affection as you may protect them from so much pain. The key is to maintain good hygiene for yourself and your baby. Bathe yourself and your baby daily, and wash your hands often and well before breastfeeding the baby, touching them, their toys or belongings in general.