Having a baby in your arms brings a lot of charm. No wonder their smiles are very infectious. Their skins are so inviting that a kiss is planted on their faces before you say ‘Jack’.
While kissing a baby may seem harmless, it is, however, risky and may pose danger to the health of the baby.
Here are health risks your baby may be exposed to when kissed by people.
1. Respiratory problems
A baby’s immune system is quite weak and sensitive which may make him or her prone to contracting respiratory infections such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) from adult carriers. RSV is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs and breathing of the baby.
It causes inflammation in the respiratory system and can cause a lot of health problems like Pneumonia, a very dangerous disease. This is why it is preferable to prevent anyone from kissing your baby especially mouth to mouth.
2. Chemicals in Adult skin care and beauty products
Adult skin care and beauty products contain chemicals that might be harmful to the baby due to his or her fragile skin. For instance, lipsticks may contain harmful ingredients such as Propylene/Butylene Glycol (PG) and Lead which may cause skin irritation, and brain damage respectively.
Cavities develop in the teeth and are caused by a bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans. It is usually transmitted from person to person through the transfer of saliva, especially kisses on the lips.
Studies have shown that adults, especially mothers are the primary source of cavities to children. This is why Dentists have warned adults to keep a good oral hygiene to mitigate the spread of this disease.
4. Weak Immune System
Despite the help of breastfeeding and other probiotics for the baby, they are easily infected because their immune system is not fully developed. In fact, studies have revealed a child’s immune system to develop at 12 – 14 years. This is why it is very important for sick adults to stay away from babies. Also, hands should be washed properly to mitigate the spread of diseases to a fragile baby.
5. Stomach viruses
A baby kissed by a carrier of the stomach virus is most likely to be infected especially if the carrier vomited not long before the time. Stomach virus, also known as Norovirus, causes the baby to vomit, stool (diarrhoea) and suffer stomach pain. It also makes the baby lose so much body fluid which leads to dehydration.
6. Whooping cough
A baby can contract whooping cough from an infected adult, especially from kissing. The risk here is that newborns take a while before they receive vaccines that treat this disease. Before the child can be immune, a lot of doses of the vaccine would have to be administered.
All parents of young children especially new born babies should endeavour to adopt and implement a ‘No kissing on the face and mouth policy’ so as to protect their young ones from dangerous health challenges.