Babysitter Has Herpes - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 01-19-2006, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our live in babysitter was just diagnosed with genital herpes. She got it from her boyfriend who did not know he had it. She told me it was OK because she had type 1 and that it would go away. Um no I told her. She was a bit shocked when I filled her in on how it was now a permanent part of her life. Obviously my first concern is our 5 month old and 3 yr old. She and the children share the same bathroom. The same plate/fork/cup at times. I spoke to a nurse at my OBGYN's office and have been doing a bit of research online. Overall I am finding conflicting information on non sexual transmission. I believe she does not have anything in her mouth. She is going to live with us for 3 more months but we were about to extend her stay for 6 more months. My first inclination is to say no. SHe is 20 and I do not think fully understands the issue. The best I can tell is that if she washes with soap and warm water and does not share anything with them all will be fine. But I am paranoid and I wonder just how much she will wash her hands or really take me seriously when I lay out some specific rules on this. I have enough issues this past month dealing with possible whooping cough in my 5 month old.
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#2 of 17 Old 01-19-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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For me, I'd say, "Sorry, bye-bye."

There would always be that risk of her sharing a bite of something with your little ones or perhaps not washing her hands after using the bathroom. What about sharing a bed with your children? Any chance of skin-to-skin contact there? Would her boyfriend ever be around?

I'm sure there may be some that will respond to this thread about there not being a risk as long as the infection isn't currently active, but for me I just couldn't and wouldn't risk it. My child is more important than her hurt feelings.

I would terminate her employment now.

Just my .02 worth.
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#3 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 03:26 AM
 
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I'd be pretty paranoid too.

I remember staying over at my aunts house when I was younger and she was always telling me not to use her towels drying on the hook on the back of the door for ANYTHING. I guess it's just that easy to pass along.

If she doesn't seem to understand the seriousness of the situation I don't believe I'd keep her around.
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#4 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 03:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98
For me, I'd say, "Sorry, bye-bye."

There would always be that risk of her sharing a bite of something with your little ones or perhaps not washing her hands after using the bathroom. What about sharing a bed with your children? Any chance of skin-to-skin contact there? Would her boyfriend ever be around?

I'm sure there may be some that will respond to this thread about there not being a risk as long as the infection isn't currently active, but for me I just couldn't and wouldn't risk it. My child is more important than her hurt feelings.

I would terminate her employment now.

Just my .02 worth.
yup-the safety and health of your dc come before her feelings-sorry bye bye babysitter...
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#5 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 11:26 AM
 
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I guess I'll come in and be devil's advocate. My SIL has HSV II--the genital kind. At first I was worried...but after doing some research, she would almost have to rub her sore on my kid--on an area that was 'moist' or in an open wound for my dd to get it. Think of this, if someone with HSV on their lip rubbed their lip with their hand, why don't they get it on their hand? Or other places? The reason it is mainly found on the genitals and mouth is because it is a moist area. People can get it in their eye or an open cut on a finger can also be suseptible. But the bottom line is that it is harder to catch than off of a towel or toilet seat.
I can also guarentee you that most daycares do not ask if the job seeker has herpes. And even if they did, the job seeker may lie and still work there. I've never heard of a child getting HSV from an infected mom unless it was present in the birth canal duing birth or unless there was some abuse.
HSV like HPV is actually very common. There are people who have been exposed to it, never knew it, and don't show any symptoms (never have a sore). These 'carriers' can pass it, but don't even know it. SO...not to scare anyone or anything, but like HPV, it is OUT THERE and we may not ever know.

Ok...sorry to play devils advocate, but I think I would keep her if she worked well with my family, is a good worker, and my kids liked her. You at least KNOW and can work to protect the kids...you may hire another person who has it and just doesn't tell you and you wouldn't know. At least this person is young and impressionable enough that 1. she told you and 2. you can educate her. You have an advantage there.
Oh...and by the way...a cold sore is HSV. Last I remember researching it, some crazy number like 80% of the human race has oral herpies--cold sores...HSV 1 SOOO...good luck on finding someone else without HSV1 heehee
Oh...definitely let her know that ORAL herpes can be passed to the genitals and vice versa...so tell her to be careful with her boyfriend!
CHECK THIS OUT!
http://herpesonline.org/faq.html
ps...with 80% or people having HSV1 you can thnk of it like any other virus that many people get. Think of the flu...we all get it...no big deal right? HSV--cold sore--unsightly yes, but less deadly and less painful than the flu! Again, I'm the devils advocate...
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#6 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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: mrs. hos

Thing is, there is also the fact that some genital lesions are type I (type I is usually what causes "cold sores" on the mouth) and some oral lesions can be type II. Generally from cross contamination. (think oral sex, or a person touching their own active oral lesion and then touching the genital area or the like). Most folks do have type I, I think the last number I heard was even higher than 80% - sorry, nak, can't look it up. So, when she says she has type I, she could be correct - but she would only really know this if a culture of the active lesion was done.
She sound naive and I would stress educationg her about strict handwashing after toileting if I were you, but I surely wouldn't fire her. I think that would be wildly discriminatory.
You could swing by a local planned parenthood and get her lots of info for her and her partner to read together.
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#7 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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One of my college roommates had Herpes. A couple of my friends have it. One of my brothers has it. Why get all upset because there are children around her? She really shouldn't be sharing cups/utensils/etc with them anyway, so that should ideally have been nixed some time ago.

Nothing wrong with educating her, but I certainly wouldn't fire someone over it. One shouldn't presume that healthcare workers, food prep workers, childcare providers, etc are all completely spotless and disease free. It's understandable to be overly concerned for ones children, but fear-mongering isn't the best way to go about it.

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#8 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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I agree with the three PP It may very well not come back for her. When I was 18 I got herpes from my long term boyfriend who had a cold sore on his mouth and um... went down there. In the last 8 years I've had maybe 3 outbreaks .... only when I was very very stressed and physicaly ill (my immune system was down). Even if she did get more frequent outbreak, it would be difficult to pass it onto your kids unless she was rubbing herself up against them in inappropriate ways.

It actually feels a little wierd to read the replies that are worried about it spreading, I almost feel like a leper
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#9 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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I agree with DarkHorseMama Educate her and keep her if she is good for your children.
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#10 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98
For me, I'd say, "Sorry, bye-bye."

There would always be that risk of her sharing a bite of something with your little ones or perhaps not washing her hands after using the bathroom. What about sharing a bed with your children?
Herpes is NOT transmitted this way. You need skin to skin contact. It is actually a very weak virus and dies quickly when exposed to air. Soap kills it though, so washing hands is a good idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98
Would her boyfriend ever be around?
What does this have to do with anything? Chances are if she has type I, it was transmitted via his mouth to her genitals. Anyone who has ever had a cold sore has herpes. Type I can be located on the mouth or genitals as can type II. Although type II orally is rare and is mostly associated with the genitals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98
I'm sure there may be some that will respond to this thread about there not being a risk as long as the infection isn't currently active, but for me I just couldn't and wouldn't risk it.
If there is, they are uniformed. Herpes can be transmitted to another person when there is NO sign of infection. It is easier to transmit during an infection though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98
My child is more important than her hurt feelings.

I would terminate her employment now.

Just my .02 worth.
There is more of a chance that her child gets a herpes infection from a grandparent, friend, relative, ANYONE with oral herpes, than there is her getting it from the babysitter. I just can't see the babysitter rubbing her genitals onto the child. And if there is a chance of that, there are more things to worry about!! If you would terminate her for having herpes on her genitals, then there is definitely no way you should ever let ANYONE who has ever had a cold sore into your house either.

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
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#11 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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For the original poster, there is a Yahoo group called "PickingUpThePieces" where you can ask your questions and get VERY informed answers. I suggest that you also tell your babysitter about it. It is a great group with lots of non judgemental people where you will get honest and accurate information.

You are lucky that your babysitter told you this information. You can take this opportunity to educated yourself and eventually your children (great for the future so that they can learn that even oral sex is not safe). Your babysitter is also lucky that she told you, as you can now point her in the direction to get the information she needs to live with this for the rest of her life. If she is correct and that her genital infection is type I, she is likely to have less outbreaks than if she has type II. Another thing is that type I tends to favour being spread oral -> oral, oral -> genital, genital -> oral, but not so much genital -> genital (although it definitely can go this way, it's just less likely). Type II favours genital -> genital transmission.

Also, if you are familiar with viewing newsgroups through a newsreader or via Google Groups, there is a group alt.support.herpes It is unmoderated though so sometimes there are some trolls causing trouble coming through, but there are some very educated posters there that also have accurate information.

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
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#12 of 17 Old 01-20-2006, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the replies. I spent last night doing reasearch and this morning educating babysitter and my husband. I had to explain why her boyfriend does have herpes, she said the dr said she got it because her boyfriend had a sore throat. Well yes, but due to herpes. She is not an idiot, just young and english is not her first language and like anyone I am sure missed a lot of what the dr said. The culture has been sent out to see what kind she has.

Our plan now is to keep her here until July when she will marry the boyfriend. That was the original plan. Being paranoid parents we are setting up a few rules about handwashing etc. The shared bathroom will be just hers. Probably overkill but it will make us feel better. I have been discussing little stuff here and there with her when DH is out. She is in a ton of pain right now. Hopefully the drugs kick in soon and she has no more outbreaks while here.
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#13 of 17 Old 02-02-2006, 11:03 AM
 
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#14 of 17 Old 02-02-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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HSV is soooo common. Really. And it's not like most people are going to come out and say they have it. I guarantee that you have sat on many a toilet seat that HPV positive people have sat on. I doubt you lysol your toilet before sitting every time you go out. And you're more likely to get any number of ickies from a door knob or telephone than you are a toilet seat.
Charlie was recently on acyclovir because they thought he had herpes, and that was the reason for the huge skin issues. He doesn't, but it was a possibility. We weren't icked out by it, because there are tons things that are HSV related. Chicken pox and shingles are herpes viruses!
There is no reason to worry about your sitter. And she TOLD YOU. If she hadn't, you would have no clue, and your kids would still be safe. Most people would not tell their employer that they now have genital herpes (I know I wouldn't), so if you don't ever want someone with herpes around your child... you're best never to leave your child with someone again.
Unless she is having sex with your kid or sharing underwear with them (in which case you have way worse problems) there is nothing at all to worry about.
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#15 of 17 Old 07-07-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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It is kind of weird she would even bring it up...is it on her face or something?

I know someone who got type 2 on her arm and had frequent outbreaks. She thinks she transmitted it from her genitals with a towel or washcloth. Her kids never caught it. She took medication and covered the area if she suspected an outbreak was coming.

It seems that type 2 would be more of a concern, but see what your Dr says. If the babysitter is not 100% sure what type, she should take precautions, especially since you have a 5 month old...clean shower/tub after use, keep towels, dirty clothes, sheets, etc. out of reach of kids. Never share utensils/drinks with any child (except maybe your own)! Ick!
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#16 of 17 Old 07-08-2014, 06:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post
It is kind of weird she would even bring it up...is it on her face or something?

I know someone who got type 2 on her arm and had frequent outbreaks. She thinks she transmitted it from her genitals with a towel or washcloth. Her kids never caught it. She took medication and covered the area if she suspected an outbreak was coming.

It seems that type 2 would be more of a concern, but see what your Dr says. If the babysitter is not 100% sure what type, she should take precautions, especially since you have a 5 month old...clean shower/tub after use, keep towels, dirty clothes, sheets, etc. out of reach of kids. Never share utensils/drinks with any child (except maybe your own)! Ick!
This thread is eight years old, LOL.
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#17 of 17 Old 07-08-2014, 06:50 AM
 
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Oh my gosh I do that all the time! For some reason the dates on the threads aren't visible at first and then I randomly respond to old posts like an idiot! I thought it was an active discussion!!

Ironically, sometimes people are glad to see it bumped up and the discussion starts all over again (or they are just as clueless as me)!
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