Any parent who has dealt with the contagious virus known as Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease can attest to the nightmare of this experience. While infants and young children under the age of five are most susceptible, anyone can contract the disease. The virus is typically picked up at crowded places where kids interact or make contact, like daycare, diaper changing areas or on toys that have been drooled on.
HFM causes painful legions in mouth, red skin rashes on the hands and feet, and finger blisters and damage to the fingernail beds. It only takes about a week for the disease to run its course, and symptoms can be managed with OTC medications like Tylenol. Oftentimes, parents mistake the symptoms for measles, which is why it’s so important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
One mom named Joanna knows about HFM firsthand. After a couple of days of irritability and wincing when trying to drink, one of her 18 month-old twins spiked a fever — which is typically the first sign of HFM. On YummyMummyClub, Joanna writes: “…as far as the variety of illnesses our family has had the pleasure to experience over the last six years with kids, I would have to say that HFM has been the worst… dare I say, biblical.”
So, how can parents prevent this highly contagious disease? It’s easier than you may think…