advice

mumps in children:
signs, symptoms and treatment

Mumps is a viral infection that mostly affects young children. It was much more common before the days of MMR vaccinations and nowadays breakouts are very rare. If your little one does contract the infection, the good news is that it’s usually easy to treat.

what are the symptoms of mumps? 

Mumps can be a bit uncomfortable and painful for your poorly little patient, but it usually passes within a couple of weeks. Thankfully, it’s super easy to spot the symptoms. Here are some signs to look out for:


baby with mumps


  • swelling under the ears and at the side of the face
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • high temperature

when should i see the doctor?

If you think your child might have mumps, take them to the doctor for a full diagnosis. This should be pretty straightforward, and your GP will be able to give you a few tips on how to keep your baby as comfortable as possible.


Be sure to let the doctor's surgery know you'll be coming ahead of time as mumps is highly contagious, so they'll need to be prepared. 


how can I protect my baby from mumps?

Your little one will be vaccinated against mumps as part of their routine injections. The MMR vaccine protects against mumps, measles and rubella all at once.


This vaccine should be given as part of your baby’s childhood immunisation schedule when they’re between 12 and 13 months. They’ll be given another little booster at age four or five before they start school.


what treatment is given for mumps?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for mumps. On the plus side, the infection should simply pass by itself within a week or two and there are lots of things you can do to keep your patient comfortable:


  • make sure they get lots of rest
  • keep them sipping on liquids to stay hydrated
  • age-appropriate ibuprofen and paracetamol can be used
  • a cold or warm flannel should take the edge off swollen glands

who can get mumps?

Absolutely anyone can get mumps, but young children are the most likely to catch it. As long as they’ve received their vaccine they should be fine – those born before the vaccination was available are most at risk. The good news is that once you’ve had mumps, your body usually develops a life-long immunity so you’re unlikely to ever get it again.