What Would You Do? Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Updated on June 29, 2012
T.J. asks from Bronxville, NY
14 answers

My nephew has Hand Foot and Mouth disease and today is day 4. I am due to visit them with LO on Thursday. My sister says the doc says it lasts for 7 days and she is planning to scrub the house with bleach.

I'm really worried about my son catching this since he is just getting over some other virus from last week, one that was accompanied by febrile seizures.

This is the only time this summer that my sister has off so I hate not going, I'm far away from family and have been excited to finally see her.

Would you take a chance and go? After reading previous posts on this board, and the CDC website, I'm thinking of postponing. Even after the symptoms are gone he might still be contagious, or so says Dr. Google.

What say you?

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So What Happened?

I've decided to postpone. My son is 13 months old and has had fevers twice and both times he had febrile seizures, so it is especially important for me not to expose him to anything else that will cause fever. HFM seems particularly nasty.

It makes me sad though, being a single mom with family far away, I was really looking forward to seeing sis and letting the boys get to know each other. Thanks for all your responses.

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

I just went thru a similar situation. Sister in town for short time, her kid sick. I didn't stay away, my baby ended up sick and in the hospital. Seriously its not worth it! Stay the frick home! I wish I had!!!

We also had HFM last month, and I got it I think, worst sore throat I ever had ever. Also I heard there is a particarlly nasty strain going around some states, like san francisco... Google it.

Click on my question history to see responses to me.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Call your pedi and see what he has to say

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

just think about this - if the little one has given it to mom or dad or siblings, they may have it and not show symptoms yet, even by thursday. i am not normally one to say this but due to the severity if the illnesses you're talking about (both hfm and whatever your son is getting over, seizures are not a small thing) i would have to say stay home :( so sorry.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Personally, if my guy had just gotten over a serious virus, meaning his immune system was still in a compromised state, I would pass on this visit, it wouldn't be fair to him to possibly expose him.

There's some really nasty strains of HF&M disease out there right now, a man I know nearly died and had to be hospitalized while his wife and sons got better and over it, tests showed he had a different strain than them though they all got sick at the same time. Yes, your nephew's doctor may have said it lasts 7 days, but my grandson's doctor said his impetigo would last 7 days and it actually lasted about 2 weeks. Sometimes doctors are at best educated guessers, but do call your son's pediatrician if you have specific questions, and go with your mama gut.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I would not go.

And besides that, there is NO way, that every fraction of an inch, or surface, or that 100% of his toys/eating utensils/seats/ and everything, can be scrubbed with bleach.

The virus, also lives for several days. So even if your nephew seems to be better, the virus can be there still and who knows where.
And even if your nephew does seem better... the person can STILL spread the disease.
And like any other illness, just because 7 days passes, that does not mean that the child is then cured or not contagious.

People/kids who have this, are advised to be kept home/not at work/not at school.

Again, I would not go.
Why put yourself or your child in jeopardy?
Why chance it?
You could get it too.

HFM disease, can also in cause complications such as meningitis etc.

Just don't go.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I think since your son just got over being sick and had seizures I wouldnt take him anywhere regardless of the hfm scare. Your son probably needs another week or two to build his own strength back up before doing a lengthy visit with anyone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Your son is getting over something and so is your nephew.
There's no point in exposing them to each other and possibly complicate their recoveries.
Postpone the visit and try again sometime when everyone is feeling well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yeah, what a bummer. But my advice to you would be don't go. Whenever it is going around my sons preschool, it seems to be so contagious. Even the adults get it. And both times my son had it, he got a very high fever (105).



answers from Albany on

I realized you decided to postpone, but it was my understanding that with this illness, you are actually contagious before the symptoms appear, and once the rash appears, you are no longer contagious. If I were you, I would check with your child's pediatrician... your nephew's dr. may have meant that he would have the symptoms for 7 days, not that he would be contagious.



answers from New York on

I am with the last responder. Pretty sure that on e the rash appears, the child is no longer contagious? I also want to give you my sympathy. And to tell you it will get better. My first was sick a lot his first two years and I was always canceling trips, playdates and family visits, either because he was sick or I didn't want him catching the next thing. It does get easier once their immune systems get stronger. If you're not already doing it, I would work on strengthening his immune system with a good probiotic. It has done wonders for my kids' health. Good luck to you.



answers from Pittsburgh on

HFM IS nasty. So nasty. My son had it at the same age and for days he had a high fever and just wanted to be held. He dropped both bottle and binky also because it hurt so bad to have anything in his mouth. Of course then we worried about dehydration.
Another thing to think about is YOU getting it. I have had it as an adult and it can be even worse for us. My throat was SO sore and I was useless for days.



answers from Chicago on

This virus seems to be getting everyone on the East Coast right now. (Okay, slight exaggeration.) But my sister's 8 month old has it right now, and her friend's toddler also has it. They have not been near each other in the last couple months. They both live in the D.C. area though.

How old is your little one? My youngest had the hand food and mouth disease several months ago before he turned one year old. It was a very mild case, and it cleared up in less than a week. He didn't seem too bothered by it either.

I think if you really want to see your sister, it's worth the risk. That is very scary about your son's febrile seizures though. Is he generally in good health? If he is, then I would go. There is no guarantee that your son won't pick up the virus somewhere else anyway. Good luck to you!



answers from New York on

The best way to prevent your child from getting Coxsackie viris aka hand foot and mouth is washing hands. Also not sharing toys which they putin their mouths. Sad that you can't visit with your sister.



answers from New York on

My kids are just getting over this. Our doctor said contagious 3-5 days (my second kid got it 3 days after the first). We went to visit my parents when the later one was on day 6. Also so far my husband and I have not gotten it. I have heard it was nasty from friends with younger kids but for my kids (6 and 3) it was 1 day of fever ( around 101) and being really sick and a few days sore throat. I have heard from friends that is is worst on toddlers. It does seem to be all over this summer, much more than I recall it ever being before.

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