What is "Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease"?
A mild illness caused by a virus that generally occurs in the Summer and Fall.
Why is it called "Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease"?
Tiny blisters may appear on the fingers and palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and inside the mouth. The most uncomfortable symptom may be the blisters inside the mouth making it uncomfortable for a child to eat of drink. Other symptoms can include runny nose, sore throat, fever, and cough. There can be other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but are usually less common with this illness.
How do you get it?
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is spread through sneezing and runny noses. These germs are also present in the bowel movement of an infected person. You can also get it from direct contact from a surface contaminated with these germs.
Can it be cured?
Antibiotics do not treat viruses. This disease will go away by itself after 5-7 days of symptoms. Some people may have more pronounced symptoms that last longer than others. Some may even contract the illness and never have any symptoms.
How do we keep it from spreading?
This virus can be difficult to control for several reasons. People are generally contagious before they have any symptoms and may continue to be contagious for several weeks after the infection starts. It is always most important to practice good handwashing to prevent the spread of germs, especially after toileting or diaper changing. Remember good handwashing techniques include using soap, washing long enough (sing A, B, C's), and not touching the faucet handle once your hands are clean! Other control measures include disposing immediately of tissues that contain nasal secretions. Also, teach children to cover their coughs! If there is no tissue available teach them to cough into their elbow!
Who gets Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
Any age group can get Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. However, once you have had this disease you probably will not get it again, although it is possible.
Should my child be excluded from Child Care after being diagnosed with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
No! You do not have to keep your child home because they have Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. Other children in your child's classroom have already been exposed to the Hand, Foot, and Mouth germs before your child became symptomatic. The only reason you must keep your child home is if he/she has other symptoms that would exclude him/her from child care such as; fever, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to participate in activities, etc.
What else did I need to know?
Always use good handwashing technique. This is the most important thing you can do for yourself and others to prevent the spread of germs. It is also important to have good respiratory hygiene by using tissues for runny noses and sneezing. Throw away used tissues immediately. Wash hands after sneezing or blowing nose. Wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and diaper changing.
Child Care Centers should follow all of their normal required sanitizing and disinfecting procedures.
Wash your hands!!!!