Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease


Sounds like something pretty terrible is about to happen, like limbs falling off or I get an image of baby zombies when I hear it. All it really is, is a rash which sometimes blisters and is pretty contagious before the spots even show up.

Anytime my kids get a new (previously unknown by me) illness I scan my brain to think where did they catch it? Should I have not taken them to so and so’s house for a play date knowing they were getting over colds and oh crap I’m going to have to notify their friends and hope my kid didn’t infect their kids. I stop then and realize these are kids and kids rarely have the best hygiene, we even think it’s great when they finally decide to share even if it means sharing a cup with another kid who just yesterday had a runny nose and unless it’s a serious illness, it’s just part of being a kid.
Hand foot and mouth disease is a contagious illness caused by different viruses. Infants and children younger than 5 years are more likely to get this disease. However, older children and adults can also get it. Symptoms usually start with a fever, sore throat and loss of appetite. A few days later a rash made of flat red spots develops on hands, soles of feet, cheeks, lips and butt. It looks terribly painful but unless it’s in their mouth it’s usually not. The virus can be spread from an infected person through close contact, kissing, hugging, sharing utensils, coughing, sneezing, contact with feces (like during diaper changes) or touching the spots when they turn into blisters and open.
When my son developed this rash and blisters I researched through my mommy friends and the internet then I realized everything and everyone in my house fit this description and we should bleach wipe from head to toe! Not to make light of kids getting sick but by my third child I have probably experienced most every type of cold, flu, rash, diarrhea and a few unexplainable illnesses. It takes a lot to rattle an experienced mom but this one definitely caught me off guard as it appears like a reason to run for urgent care when the only thing they will tell you is there’s nothing you can do about it and wash your hands often.
Oliver has had this now for about 2 days, following a fever that came on very sudden and caused him to throw up once. He’s been a little clingy which is to be expected anytime little ones don’t feel well. His friend Natalie and his sister Kairi seem to have gotten a mild case of this too but are doing better. One of the best things I’ve learned as a parent is to not panic the minute your children get sick, it’s probably going to cause more worry and fuss if you do. Know the basics like how to keep them hydrated; check for high fevers that don’t fluctuate or go away in a day or two; make sure they are peeing and if you get an overall feeling that something just isn’t right with them, take them in to get checked!



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