First-aid kit: Cold sores


What can/should be done at home

Treatment of oral herpes (cold sores) in children is primarily aimed at the symptoms. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.) can be used for pain. The child must be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. And be sure to make these mild fluids -- juices and carbonated beverages can cause pain when they touch the sores.

When to get immediate attention

  • If pain is severe or there are numerous lesions (Medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famcyclovir may be prescribed to help combat the infection. In addition, for older children who can "swish and spit," a prescription mouth rinse may be given.)
  • If you are concerned that your child may be getting dehydrated
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