Lots of childhood illnesses are scary but not too many sound as scary as Hand Foot & Mouth Disease.
I’ll never forget. I was in the middle of nowhere driving to a client meeting when I got that dreadful call from my daughters child care center(Any parent with a child in daycare knows that NO CALL from daycare, in the middle of the day, is a good one.)
Center Director:“Now I want to warn you, this sounds a lot scarier than it actually is and I really wish they had a different name for it.”
Me: “What’s wrong??”
CD:“We’re pretty sure Raegan has hand foot and mouth disease.”
I slammed on the breaks, made a u-turn in the middle of the street headed back toward my office and pulled over. “She has what?!”
Hand foot and mouth disease is a common children’s virus causing sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms in children include fever, sore throat, irritability, and a loss of appetite. And just like that you realize that this sounds like EVVVVERRRY other cold or flu your little one has caught.
At first, like most new parents, we thought it was her teeth or a general cold but nothing prepared us for what was actually running through her tiny body. Here are six facts you should know so you can be more prepared than we were.
1. IT COMES OUT OF NO WHERE. When I went to go pick my munchkin up from her center that day, she was covered in little red tiny dots and I was pissed! How could my fiance have taken her to school and not seen these things all over her body?! My temper was relieved when I was told that when she got to school at 8am, she had maybe 1 dot on her hand but by the time I got there at 10:45am, her little extremities were almost completely spotted.
2. BY THE TIME YOU SEE THE RASH, ITS TOO LATE.
I know it sounds like dooms day but its actually the best part. I knew something was wrong with Raegan 2 days before the HFMD was evident. She was super irritable & whiny, not her happy playful self, and refused food which is not like my little porker at all. But after the spots broke through, she spent the next 5 days at home playing like nothing had happened.
3. IF ANOTHER CHILD AT DAYCARE HAS IT, YOUR CHILD WILL GET IT TOO. HFMD is highly contagious. And once again, by the teachers at your center see the spots and can identify whats wrong, its too late! My little boo caught it from someone else and after her, more babies caught it.
4. THERE’S NOTHING THE DOCTOR CAN DO. Other than give you advice on how to make your baby more comfortable and give you the proper diagnosis. In no way am I telling you not to immediately take your child to the doctor but don’t expect to come out with a miracle prescription to make it all better(like I did.) HFMD is a virus, and like all viruses, it just has to run its course.
5. IT GETS REALLY WEIRD. Raegan had spots in her mouth(which is why she didn’t want to eat) and the skin on her little feet peeled like a snake for 3 weeks! I’ve heard other things so just be prepared for anything and call your physician if anything gets too abnormal.
6. ADULTS CAN CATCH IT. But you won’t care and neither did I. I covered my baby girl in cuddles every chance I got.
It didn’t take long for my munchkin to bounce back but her time spent with HFMD was not a pleasant one. Hopefully you will be lucky enough not to battle it, but if you do, I pray you come armed with facts and preparation.
***DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind. This is merely an opinion blog. The information on this blog is merely the opinion of a laymen individual. I am not liable, either expressly or in an implied manner, nor claim any responsibility for any emotional or physical problems that may occur directly or indirectly from reading this blog.