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Pregnant mums have been warned not to finish their young child’s dinner or give them a kiss goodnight — as they could pass on a “stealth virus” to their unborn child.

CMV — or cytomegalovirus — can be transmitted through children’s saliva, which is often found on part-eaten food and picked up through kissing.

Scientists at St George’s, University of London have warned that it may put them at risk of cerebral palsy, deafness and developmental delay.

CMV affects around 1,000 babies every year and can cause severe disabilities. Approximately one in five babies with congenital CMV will have long term health problems.

Babies who are born with the infection but who do not show symptoms are still at risk of developing complications, such as deafness, later on in life, shares Daily Mail.

Dr Chrissie Jones last night said: ‘The most important message is not to come into contact with the saliva of a young child.

‘We would discourage women from sharing food. It’s quite common for parents to finish uneaten meals, such as fish fingers.

‘Don’t kiss your children directly on the lips, kiss them on the forehead.’

Dr Jones added: ‘For pregnant women, the most common way [to catch it] would be from a young child who is shedding the virus in urine and saliva.

‘It’s those children those are going to nursery or playgroup who are most likely to pick up CMV from another child.’

Share your comments below

  • What are the actual symptoms of CMV?? Is there any way of telling if your child has it??

    Reply

  • Never knew this could happen but I’ve never believed on kissing anyone but my partner on the lips.

    Reply

  • I’ve never heard of this before, but always good to know.

    Reply

  • Geez did not know this. Great to know for future reference.

    Reply

  • There people who kiss their dog, cats, bunnies, pigs and cows on the mouth !
    I consider kissing your child on the mouth more appropriate and less harmful.
    I never did it though with my kids, but my youngest foster daughter has Down syndrome and she does it and I find it hard to turn her down.

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  • Sounds like common sense to me. Your children can be kissed on the cheek, forehead or chin. Why not keep lip-kissing between man and wife? It is all a show of affection – and different affection should be shown to a partner and to children.

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  • I kiss my baby but never on the mouth.

    I only kiss my hubby on the mouth

    Reply

  • Yes to leaving the food but no to not kissing your children. Imagine telling your kids you can’t give them a kiss because they’ll harm the baby. Crazy!

    Reply

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