While most people believe viral infections aren't as common in the warmer months, Erie County Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, warns parents not to be fooled. Hands, foot and mouth disease is common in the Summer and early Fall.
“If you have a child at home with hand, foot and mouth disease and you have another child in the house you want to make sure that they stay away from each other if possible," Dr. Burstein said.
Hand, foot and mouth is a viral infection that is highly contagious, particularly among toddlers, infants and young children. The disease can cause exterior sores around the hands, feet and mouth but also on the interior of the mouth as well. The mouth sores resemble small ulcers and are usually the most painful for children located on the inner lips and gums.
“What many pediatricians recommend if the mouth sores and really bad and the kids are miserable is to mix a little bit of an antacid like Maalox with some Benadryl and give that to the child every four to six hours to keep them comfortable," Burstein said after noting there's no vaccine or prescribed method to prevent the disease.
Child care centers like Kiddie Corner in South Buffalo take every precaution like cleaning door knobs, wiping surfaces and putting dirty toys in dishwashers to prevent hand, foot and mouth from entering the room.
I’ve been working here for almost 6 years and I can’t remember the last time we had it… so that’s great!” said Emma Alvarado, teacher aide at Kiddie Corner. "When I’m not washing my hands I’m wearing gloves, but I really do wash my hands a ton.”
Dr. Burstein recommends:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Do not share kitchenware or utensils
- Adults are susceptible to the disease, be cautious