What is HFMD?
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is caused by a group of viruses that belongs to the Enterovirus genus. There are several types of enterovirus which can cause HFMD. In Southeast Asia, the most common found virus is Enterovirus 17.
How does HFMD spread?
- Physical contact such as hugging, sharing utensils, saliva, nasal discharge and feces
- Contaminated surfaces such as toys, play mats, fabrics, tables and chairs
- Airborne particles such as coughing and sneezing
What are the symptoms of HFMD
- Rashes on hands and foot
- Mouth ulcer
- Sore throat
Where does HFMD commonly spread?
HFMD is commonly spread in kindergarten and day care as HFMD mostly affects infants and children younger than 10 years old. Younger children are easier to be infected due to the weaker immune system.
Even so, parents still can’t compromise on their children wellbeing when the kindergarten/day care has been entrusted by the parents.
Safety measure must be made to protect your children.
Several ways to check on the kindergarten hygiene is checking with the principal on the cleaning standard of procedure. It is important to know what type of products that are used for cleaning as the chemicals in the washing detergent can also be harmful if it is not clean properly.
Traditional cleaning has no end to it. Kindergarten can use technology such as installing hygiene systems in their compound to protect and grow their business. Parents could also do their part in surveying for kindergarten that already own such system.
Since the HFMD outbreak, parents are also staying away from shopping malls as it is the second most infected area that is exposed to HFMD. The kids play area and especially handles on the trolley are high in bacteria and virus count.
As a temporary solution for such cases, parents are required to wipe with disinfectant before touching or playing at a common area in the mall. After playing, ensure that the kids hand washed and wipe thoroughly.
We often see that restaurant owners or workers wipe their furniture and utensils before serving their customers but wiping alone does not kill the bacteria and viruses on the surfaces. Proper restaurant sterilization methods must be implemented to comply with the government health regulations. Toddles are exposed to this harmful bacterium in baby chair for example and later put their hand into their mouth that may lead to the Hand Food and Mouth disease.
It is somehow easier to protect your kids when they are at home as you are willing to give the best for your love ones. Parents must learn how to read labels to know what is in a specific product and not be influence by the marketing of a brand. Choose a brand based on recommendation and credibility.
What to do if one gets infected?
There is no specific treatment and HFMD vaccine currently available.
The incubation period of HFMD is 3 to 5 days (with a range from 2 days to 2 weeks). A person infected with HFMD is most contagious during the duration of the illness.
Even after all the protection we provide for our love ones, they are still prone to getting infected if they are exposed to area which consist of the harmful disease. If your kids are infected, parents must do the following to stop it from prolonging and infecting another kid.
Children who are infected must stay home so that the virus do not spread and harm another kid which can also lead to taking the kid’s life if s/he have low immune system. It is also best to be separated from their other siblings as cross infection may happen during this period.
Not only the kids, the adults who take care of the infected child must be separated from other family members as you do not know cross infection of HFMD may have happened on the adult.
Who should take action?
While young children are susceptible, parents are the first party who have to do the necessity wherever and whenever they can.
Places like home, hygiene level can be easily control as there is no other outcoming contamination. Unfortunately, it is not possible that we stay home 24 hours. Adults have to go out for work or to replenish groceries, children have to go for school. Things are happening beyond our control.
Therefore, places like kindergarten, daycare or tuition centers, what parents can do is to check the standard hygiene procedure as well as to advise the principals to install hygiene system such as Medklinn Air+Surface Sterilizers – to ensure all kind of bacteria and viruses are eliminated.
The next party who should take action is the principals. Kindergartens and daycares are the places where should set the parents worried-free. At the same time, keeping the centers’ hygiene level up to standard is another way to sustain your businesses. Or else, parents may look for the alternatives that can keep their children safe.