When your child gets sick, it can send some parents into panic mode. You start monitoring their temperature, eyeing the color of your child’s skin and calculating every drop they consume. Sickness can cause havoc in your family, and it can be more miserable if the parents become ill also. Hand, Foot Mouth disease is a common childhood virus that easily spreads mostly between children in the 0-5 years old range.
How Did We Get Hand Foot Mouth Disease?
Hand Foot Mouth disease is a common childhood illness that passes from one person to the next through contact with bodily fluids such as sneezing and coughing. Close contact such as kisses and hugs, or touching surfaces infected with the virus are other ways to contract this illness. This illness is very contagious through fecal matter, which makes children who are ages 0-5 even more likely to both contract and pass it along then older children. It is common for this virus to break out in places such as daycares and preschools. It typically takes three to six days before symptoms start to appear. According to the Center For Disease Control’s website, Hand Foot and Mouth disease is most common in the spring through the fall. That is a large portion of the year folks. I think it is safe to say your child could pick up this virus at almost any time.
Can Parents Catch Hand Foot Mouth Disease?
According to the NHS, it is not likely that an adult will contract this disease, but possible. WebMD also has a note that it is possible for adults to contract the Hand Foot Mouth Virus, but that cases are often much milder than when younger children have it. Adults who contract this virus are contagious and can then pass it along to both other children and adults. In some cases because symptoms are milder, the adult may not even realize they have Hand, Foot, and Mouth. Wash your hands well while you are taking care of your child.
What Symptoms Will We Have?
Only a doctor can truly determine if your child or you have Hand, Foot, Mouth disease. You may notice your child develops a sudden low-grade fever and that your child’s appetite goes down. After a few days, your kid may have an itchy rash that spreads quickly. I personally researched this disease in depth when my daughter had Roseola, another childhood virus with a sudden red rash and fever but without the itchy blisters.
Painful sores may develop in the mouth that can be sensitive to food and drinks. You may also see itchy red blisters that pop up most commonly on the hands and feet, but also can appear on knees and in the diaper area. You can see a picture of the blisters and read one mom’s story at the Center For Disease Control’s Public Health Matters Blog.
I Think My Child Or I May Have Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. What Now?
Confirm with your doctor that you do have this virus in the family. Symptoms for most children typically pass within a week, but this virus is very contagious and easily passed to others. In the meantime here are a few guidelines until you feel better!
- Wash hands well regularly, especially after changing diapers
- Disinfect household surfaces to avoid spreading the virus
- Avoid close contact such as kisses and hugs or sharing eating utensils
- Drink plenty of fluids and eat cold items such as popsicles
- Stay at home and rest
Readers, has anyone in your family ever had Hand Foot Mouth disease?
(Photo Credit: Larisa Okhtienko)