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Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis In Children


Children with primary herpetic gingivostomatitis (PHGS) develop many painful sores on the lips, tongue, gums, and inside the mouth.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.


The mouth sores of PHGS are painful and make it hard for your child to eat or drink. This can cause dehydration (when your child's body loses more water than it takes in). Once your child has recovered from PHGS, he may still get cold sores or fever blisters from time to time. The infection can spread to other parts of your child's body. This can be life-threatening if your child has other health problems. Medicines used to treat PHGS can lead to upset stomach, diarrhea, rash, or headache. Medicines can cause seizures or kidney problems in some children. Talk with your child's caregiver if you have questions about PHGS or your child's medicines or care.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.


Your child may be given any of the following:

  • Pain medicine: Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are medicines you can get without a doctor's order. They may decrease your child's pain and fever.

  • Numbing medicine: Numbing medicine may be used to coat (cover) the sores in your child's mouth. The medicines dull pain so your child can eat or drink more easily.

  • Antivirals help treat or prevent a viral infection.


Cool, bland foods and liquids: Your child may be offered applesauce, gelatin, or frozen treats. Nutrient drinks are given when your child cannot eat.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis In Children (Inpatient Care)