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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is back. Here is what you need to know...

Being a parent is tough. You need to manage schedules, look after your child's safety, be a role model and above all else, you need to keep your child healthy. So when something like Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease comes knocking, you need to know what to look for. 

So what is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)?

It is a viral infection that is most prevalent in children under the age for five, although adults and kids under the age of ten can get it too. Potential symptoms include, a rash, vomiting, pain in muscles, fever, sore throat, stomach ache, sores on the hands, feet and mouth and a headache.

HFMD spreads quickly amongst kids as they tend to share their toys, food, etc. and since they are still learning hand-washing skills, have frequent diaper changes and undergo potty training, HFMD can spread quickly in any daycare setting.  

The most common time for potential outbreaks is during a seasonal transition and especially during summer and fall. The incubation time is around three to six days.

So how can you spot potential Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

* It generally starts with a fever 

* Followed by a sore throat and sometimes poor appetite

* One or two days after the fever/ sore throat starts, painful sores might become visible on  

  the front of the mouth and in the throat

* A rash on the hands, feet and possibly on the buttocks can follow within one to two days

When do you need to see a doctor?

HFMD is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild signs and symptoms. Contact your doctor if the mouth sores or a sore throat keeps your child from drinking fluids. If after a few days, your child's signs and symptoms worsen, you need to see your doctor.

Causes of HFMD

The most common cause of HFMD is infection with the coxsackievirus A16. The coxsackievirus belongs to a group of viruses called nonpolio enteroviruses. Other types of enteroviruses sometimes cause HFMD.

Oral ingestion is the main source of coxsackievirus infection and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The illness spreads by person-to-person contact with an infected person's:

* Nasal secretions or throat discharge

* Saliva

* Fluid from blisters

* Stool

* Respiratory droplets sprayed into the air after a cough or sneeze

HFMD is very contagious and spreads quickly, it is therefore important to always put the toilet lid down before flushing the toilet and to wash your hands regularly. Although your child is most contagious with HFMD during the first week of the illness, the virus can remain in his or her body for weeks after the signs and symptoms are gone. That means your child can still infect others. Some people, particularly adults, can pass the virus without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease.

So what can you do to prevent HFMD?

* Wash hands carefully...always

   Be sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the toilet or

   changing a diaper and before preparing food and eating. The Sprinkle Spray Sanitizer

   Spray should be used after each nappy change and especially after using the toilet. When

   soap and water aren't available, use your Sprinkle Spray Sanitizer Spray.

* Disinfect common areas often.

   Get in the habit of cleaning high-traffic areas and surfaces with an alcohol-based

   disinfectant cleaner. 

* Teach your children good hygiene.

   Show them how to keep themselves clean and teach them good hygiene habits as soon as

   possible. Explain to them why it's best not to put their fingers, hands or any other objects    

   in their mouths, especially if it is dirty.

* Contact Sprinkle Spray to disinfect your office, home or child's school every week.

   Sprinkle Spray has seen a reduction in absenteeisms up to 44.4% at their facilities since

   implementing the Sprinkle Spray System.

* Isolate contagious people.

   Because HFMD is highly contagious, people with the illness should limit their exposure to  

   others whilst they still have active signs and symptoms. Keep children with HFMD out of  

   daycare or school until his/her fever is gone and mouth sores have healed. If you yourself

   have the illness, stay home from work. 

Infection control is a team effort. 

The good news is, the disease looks a lot worse than it is. :) 

It’s a minor illness that generally runs its course between three and six days, so even if you and/or the kids get sick, you basically just have to wait it out for a few days. If after a week you still do not feel well or if there are still symptoms in your children, it might be a good idea to call your doctor.

It might also be time to call in Sprinkle Spray to do a once-off disinfecting Fizzbom of your entire home and to help you protect your children and family...let's just get rid of the germs...together. :)

**sources: /

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