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Cold Sores


Don’t let the name fool you - cold sores are not caused by catching a cold. The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores, blisters that usually form in and around the mouth. This virus is different from the one causing genital herpes. Cold sores can quickly spread, often through saliva. The first time your child has cold sores, the blisters often spread throughout the mouth. After that, the virus lies at rest in the nerves of the body, occasionally resurfacing in response to triggers such as intense sunlight, cold, heat, fever and stress. Teens may also get cold sores during mild illness or menstrual periods. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cold sores and it takes about two weeks for cold sores to heal. But your pediatrician may have suggestions to lessen the discomfort. To avoid spreading the virus, don’t kiss others or share food, straws, towels or toothpaste.  


​The above script is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,' which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
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