Pediatricians warn of hand, foot & mouth spread

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A summertime illness is making a return to the Wasatch Front. Right now, pediatricians say they treat one to three cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease... everyday. The communicable disease is largely seen in children. But you can prevent the spread and limit its impact.

Simple hand washing could stop a highly contagious virus in its tracks.

“Wipe off the toys with sanitary wipes. Be sure to use hand washing or hand sanitary wipes with their children,” said Intermountain Healthcare Pediatrician Dr. Frank Bentley.

Children are at the most risk to get hand foot and mouth. Pediatrician Dr. Frank Bentley says the communicable disease loves to fester in places like daycares. That’s why Fairyland Family Childcare owner Ilse Wilson says she has a protocol in place.

“You just need to be aware of the symptoms and wash hands especially after toileting and diaper changing,” said Fairyland Family Childcare Owner Ilse Wilson.

And if one of her daycare kids gets the viral illness, she put this letter out for her parents to see.

“It lists the incubation period, signs and symptoms, method of transmission so they're fully aware what's going on,” said Wilson.

Wilson sends kids home if they have a high fever or have blisters that will normally cover a child's hands, feet, and our face area. Dr. Bentley says 30% of kids don't show obvious signs like sores on the outside. But on the inside...

“Sores, canker sore, in their mouth and so children stop eating and start drooling like crazy and will get sores around their mouth where the virus attacks,” said Dr. Bentley.

While it might look pretty nasty and kids will be irritated, Dr. Bentley says hand, foot and mouth goes away in a few days. But if not...

“They could get dehydrated. If they're not wetting their diapers, if they're mouth is dry, they need to be seeing their doctor,” said Dr. Bentley.

Wilson says she does her best to keep the daycare clean and everyone washing their hands, but parents have to keep their kids home if they're sick.

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