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Mumps in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a disease caused by a virus. Mumps causes inflammation of the parotid glands. Parotid glands help to make saliva. They are located in front of and below each ear. The mumps virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also spread through direct contact, such as sharing cups or toys.

What are the signs and symptoms of mumps?

How is mumps diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider may be able to diagnose mumps based on your child's symptoms and a physical exam. Your child may need a blood test to confirm the infection.

How is mumps treated?

Mumps cannot be cured. The following can help decrease your child's symptoms:

How can I manage my child's symptoms?

What do I need to know about the mumps vaccine?

The MMR vaccine helps protect your child and others around him or her from measles, mumps, and rubella. Your child's provider will tell you how many doses your child needs. He or she will tell you when to bring your child in to get the vaccine. If your child is 12 months to 12 years of age, his or her provider may recommend the MMRV vaccine instead. This vaccine also protects against varicella (chickenpox). Your child's provider will tell you which vaccine is best for your child.

Recommended MMR Immunization Schedule

What can I do to prevent the spread of germs?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.