We’ve been quite lucky compared to some of my friends, in that N’s not really been ill much…a touch of diarrhoea, a couple of colds, but thankfully nothing’s really hit him too badly (touch wood this continues). But last week we’ve had hand foot & mouth hit him.
My last work day, he was looked after by my sister in law in the afternoon which he loves because he can play with his 3 year old cousin. But that evening, the cousin had a temperature and by the Sunday he’d been diagnosed with HF&M. Basically, lots of blistery spots, a rash on legs/arms, temperature, drool etc.
We kept a look out for it, went out on the Monday as usual (tried out one of the local children centre offshoot’s drop in for under 3’s), but then Tuesday woke to a couple of spots round by his mouth. No temperature though and seemed fine in himself, still eating and drinking as usual. He spent most of the night waking and whining for nothing much then falling asleep again, then Wednesday more rash (like a heat rash) had appeared on his arms & legs. And the drool…well, he is a bit of a dribbler anyway, but we were going through 3 dribble bibs a day, and could have used more!
As it’s highly contagious, even throughout the 3-5 day incubation period and after when it can stay in the system for ages, I dread to think how many children have caught it off him…that’ll be quite a few at swimming on the Friday, tonnes at the group on Monday then. What’s annoying is there’s conflicting information online. The doctor my nephew saw didn’t seem to clear up any details on quarantine periods and when it was ok to be back in circulation. Some places say once the spots have gone (takes a while for these to fully go though), some say once the child feels well in themselves (that’ll be straight away for N then, as he was fine throughout!).
So we stayed around the farm for the rest of the week, although by Friday most of the horrible looking spots had gone right down to just red bumps which had faded. All his baby friends have been on the watch out and checked with their nurseries on policy, but it seems that it’s always doing the rounds and there’s not much can be done about it.
We were lucky in that he appears to have had it mildly, and hopefully it’ll help build some immunity to it prior to starting nursery in January. There are lots of upsides to having baby friends/cousins who are at school or nursery ahead of you.
Have your children ever suffered from hand foot and mouth?