My daughter-in-law wants to keep her sister-in-law away from her 10 month old baby for fear the baby will get an STD from her aunt. There is no abuse involved. How much chance is there of passing a possible STD to a child with just normal daily contact? My daughter-in-law thinks the aunt should be kept away from all kids because of this risk. She says if any saliva from the aunt even got in a cut on her daughter she could get an STD. We don't even know that the aunt has any STD to start with. Is this a valid fear on my daughter-in-laws part? Thank you. Concerned Grandma
STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. Your daughter-in-law has paranoia issues or is uneducated about STDs.
It is true that Herpes, i.e. HSV1 and HSV2 can be transmitted in saliva.
HSV1 is commonly transmitted. In fact it is VERY NORMAL for it to be transmitted from relatives to children. 60% of the US population has it. It is NOT considered an STD. If the sister-in-law has HSV1, she is not the only one among your family and friends. HSV1 is something that most people catch as a child, similar to chickenpox. HSV1 causes cold sores. People with cold sores should not kiss anyone while they have cold sores. They should keep their hands clean. (Personally if I had active cold sores, I would not touch a child at that time.) Sometimes HSV1 can occur on fingers. If someone has sores on their fingers the same rules apply.
HSV2 is considered a sexually transmitted disease. Its occurrence orally is RARE. Its occurrence on fingers is RARE. Its transmission orally is RARE. Most cases of transmission from adult to child are in cases of abuse.
In general, a mother should look out for cold sores and finger sores before people touch her child. I always look at people's hands when I shake them. (I saw sores on someones hands once and did not shake hands.)
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