Parents have a whole host of health concerns to fret about when it comes to their kids, from chicken pox to bad stomach bug most never think to worry that their child could contract an STD.
Mother Amy Stinton, from Portsmouth, never dreamed that her little son Oliver would get herpes after the devastating news she received last week after taking her 14-month-old to the hospital, where doctors told her he'd likely contracted it from contact with a cold sore.
The mother-of-two is warning parents everywhere not to underestimate the risk that their babies could get the virus, too, and be stuck with managing it for their entire lives
Amy shared shocking images of her son's herpes rash on Facebook last week, showing his poor, pudgy legs and feet covered in nasty red sores.
'This is what happens to babies when been in contact with a cold sore. Oliver now has the herpes virus and will have this for life,' she wrote.
Cold sores and saliva transmit herpes type 1, which is different from herpes type 2, which affects the genitals.
Amy guesses that Oliver most likely picked it up after being kissed or nuzzled by a family member or friend with a cold sore, though the teething toddler may also have simply put something in his mouth that came into contact with a cold sore.
'It's such a simple thing — you see a baby, you think, "Oh, they're cute, I'll give them a kiss" — it's a socially acceptable thing to do. But it shouldn't be done,' she told Daily Mail Online. 'People should be aware of the dangers.'
She and her husband took the baby to the doctor, who gave him some steroid cream. But by the next morning, the rash was even worse, and the doctor ordered him straight to the hospital.
Doctors indicated that the virus had likely been in his system for months, but had only just started to flare up, 'attacking his system'.
'It's more dangerous in very young children,' Amy explained. 'The scariest part was that we went to our [doctor] [that] Tuesday and were sent straight to the hospital, but we were told if we'd left it to Wednesday morning, he'd have been in intensive care. It would've attacked his vital organs.'
Luckily, Oliver is now doing a bit better, and his symptoms are 'manageable at the moment'. Amy said the doctors put him on antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and steroid creams, and they will just have to be vigilant about managing potential cold sores from now on.
'It's frustrating that it's completely out of our control and he's going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life,' she said.
She hopes that people will learn from her story, and be extra cautious around babies during cold sore flare-ups.