Sunday, Baby Bee complained of a “feber”. I felt her head and while she felt a little warm, I didn’t think much of it. She didn’t feel warm enough, even to my cold hands, for me to hunt down a thermometer. She complained of some body aches, too, but Baby Bee is kind of whiney sometimes and I dismissed that too as she played and ate and carried on.
Monday morning, she got up and happily went off to school without too many cares. She settled in on the couch when she got home and around 3 in the afternoon, her little voice chirped out that her throat hurt. I had her open up and say “ahhhh” and the top back of her mouth was dotted with little red dots.
Strep, I announced to Big Daddy who groaned and announced that his throat suddenly got sore. I tucked Baby Bee into her shoes and coat and we went to Urgent Care. I figured I’d get her on antibiotics ASAP and then she’d be right as rain for the Halloween festivities happening at the end of this week.
Baby Bee giggled as our doctor checked her ears and felt her glands. She gagged over the strep swab, but when the doctor looked into her mouth she said, “Oh. No, that’s not strep.”
“What is it?”
“Hand, foot and mouth,” she said and we kind of made a “oh crap” face at each other. I asked a few questions about how likely it was to spread throughout the house and when Baby Bee could go back to school and then I brought her home where she played and jumped around like nothing was going on.
And then Tuesday rolled around and I wondered why I was keeping her home as she bounded off the furniture and played for hours and hours.
And then Wednesday rolled around and Baby Bee started to get spotty and the school nurse called home and told me that they had Littebit in the office with a 103 degree fever.
And as of writing this, the Princess has a fever and a sore throat and Big Daddy and I are getting a little nervous. Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is making the rounds and a quick google will tell you that it’s been a problem in Missouri, Petoskey Michigan, Sandusky Ohio, my sister-in-laws daycare and our house.
Well, Google won’t tell you about the last two.
What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?
It’s the Coxsackievirus A16 virus, usually. It’s a virus, so antibitoics won’t help you out and it’s extremely contagious. It usually affects children, but can occur in adults.
How Does it Spread?
Through infected secretions like sneeze spray, snot and poop.
What Are the Symptoms?
The disease usually onset with a fever, sore throat and general “I feel crappy” feelings. Blisters, which can cause a lot of discomfort, will appear in the mouth and may make children reluctant to eat or drink which is really the biggest danger of HFMD (Hand Foot and Mouth Disease). Children may dehydrate if they refuse liquids because it hurts to swallow. Sores usually are located in the back of the mouth, but they can spread throughout. After the mouth sores, sores/rash will develop on the hands and feet and may spread to the legs and arms. Some children may get the rash on their diaper area or torsos as well. The rash can be itchy. Not all people who are sick with HFMD will develop all the symptoms. Some may only get, well, some.
OMFG! Now What?
As always, pain and fever reducers can be given to reduce pain and fever, but be careful NOT to medicate a low to mid range fever too frequently. They’re actually useful. Our rule is anything north of 101 coupled with not feeling well. Chloraseptic and similar can be given to numb the mouth sores, but Littlebit thought it tasted pretty bad and thought she’d rather deal with mouth sore pain. My sister-in-law recommended calamine lotion for the itching and while other things may work, it seems to be soothing Baby Bee pretty well.
When can we go back in public without being “that” family?
The Internet is actually mixed on this. Some reputable sources say that as soon as the fever is gone that you/your child are no longer contagious. This was the advice my doctor gave me as well. Other reputable sources say once the mouth blisters are healed your child can return to school. My Mom friends say that the blisters should be “dry” before your child returns to activities or else, they’ll think you’re “that” mom. My good friend whose children are in daycare says her daycare allows the children to return after the fever is ended. We’re coming up on the weekend, so everyone will return to school on Monday after having two to three days out of school to allow the virus to clear up.